The Supreme Court on Monday declined to issue a stay order against the appointment of Lieutenant General Dalbir Singh as the next army chief.
“There is no reason to stay the appointment. Your petition before us is to vindicate your post,” a bench of justice TS Thakur told advocate RK Anand, appearing for petitioner Lt Gen Ravi Dastane who challenged the promotion of Dalbir Singh to army commander from core commander.
Dalbir Singh would take over as the army chief on August 1. Dastane, who retires in August, wanted a stay on Dalbir Singh’s as the next chief of army staff.
Appearing for the Centre, attorney general Mukul Rohatgi said Dastane’s petition was infructuous and dismissed his allegation that Dalbir Singh was considered for promotion while a disciplinary vigilance ban was pending against him. Rohatgi informed the bench that he was discharged from all the charges before he was cleared for the army commander’s post.
“The current chief, General Bikram Singh found the charges invoked against him (Dalbir) were wrong and set them aside,” Rohatgi told the bench.
“There were only two posts of army commander that fell vacant in 2012, while five names were recommended. Dalbir topped the list and Dastane was third in seniority. Therefore, the first two officers in the list were chosen for the two posts,” he explained.