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HindustanTimes Fri,31 Oct 2014

Air Marshall's 'party' with arms dealers irks brass

PTI  New Delhi, June 30, 2013
First Published: 15:56 IST(30/6/2013) | Last Updated: 21:00 IST(30/6/2013)

In an incident that has caused flutters in government circles, a top Air Force official who retired from service on Sunday attended a farewell party hosted in his honour that was attended by a large number of arms vendors and officials dealing with procurements by the force.

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The party organised on June 7 for the Air Marshal-rank officer has raised the hackles of the top brass in the defence ministry and security agencies because of the presence of arms dealers and service officials in a private function, sources said in New Delhi.

Under rules governing the code of conduct of officials, "No government servant shall, except with the previous sanction of the government, receive any complimentary or valedictory address or accept any testimonial or attend any meeting or entertainment held in his honour; or in the honour of any other government servant."               

When asked if these officials had taken permission for attending the party, the IAF said it did not have any information about the event.

"The IAF has no knowledge of any such private farewell party," an IAF spokesperson told PTI in response to the query.

The defence ministry also keeps issuing advisories to its officials and the services against officers hobnobbing with arms vendors in order to maintain transparency and probity in defence deals.

Major SS Pandey, an expert on military laws, said, "As per the code of conduct for military officers, any officer attending such parties or farewells has to seek permission from his superiors and also give proper reasons for doing so."

Over six years ago, a Lieutenant General was removed from a sensitive posting in the South Block for allegedly meeting with the officials of an embassy in the national Capital.


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