The Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) has directed the Army to appoint two Lieutenant Generals as Corps Commanders by asking it to relax appointment rules for them as done earlier in the case of three other officers of the same rank.
Pronouncing the verdict, Justice A K Mathur asked the Army to follow the criterion set out for appointment of Corps Commanders so that such litigations do not arise in future.
In their petitions, Lt Gens P G Kamath and J S Bajwa had objected to their promotion to the rank of Lt Gen in the staff stream and not the command stream.
They had also contended that the army had overlooked the criterion while appointing three other similarly placed Lt Gens in the command stream.
Kamath and Bajwa argued that Lt Gens Chetinder Singh, N K Singh and S A Hasnain also did not have three years of service as per the existing policy but still were promoted in the command stream.
The promotion to the rank of Lt Gen is done under the categories of Command and Staff streams. The officers promoted under the Command stream are appointed as Corps Commander, while those under staff stream get to perform staff duties only.
Army had denied Kamath and Bajwa the elevation to the post of corps commander as the two officers were short of the mandatory three year's residual service by four months and four days and four months and 16 days respectively.
"We allow this petition and direct the Government to consider both these petitioners for relaxation as the relaxation was given in the cases of Lt Gens Chetinder Singh, N K Singh and S A Hasnain," the Tribunal Bench said in its order.