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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Dec 2014

Top general ‘unsuitable’ for key army post

Rahul Singh, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, August 25, 2014
First Published: 00:25 IST(25/8/2014) | Last Updated: 00:31 IST(25/8/2014)

A top general is being passed over for appointment to the post of director general of ordnance services (DGOS) due to alleged questionable conduct and accusations of impropriety against him, a source said.

This is the second time in less than a year that a three-star officer has been found ‘unsuitable’ for a key post and the responsibility will be given to a junior.

The government is set to overlook Lieutenant General AS Rawat and name his junior Lieutenant General Amit Sarin as the next DGOS.

Rawat is the senior-most officer in the Army Ordnance Corps (AOC) — a body responsible for supplying weapons, ammunition, equipment and clothing to 1.18 million soldiers.

Commissioned in the army in December 1977, Sarin is 18 months junior to Rawat.

The source said an officer’s “suitability” for a sensitive post was just as significant as his seniority, and if the force was ignoring seniority, it had good reason to do so.

The army is understood to have chosen Sarin over Rawat after carrying out detailed background checks. The position of DGOS has not been filled since Lieutenant General Gautam Moorthy retired nearly three months ago, as the army was thoroughly examining the dossiers of top officers.

The army had last year overlooked Lieutenant General GS Bisht and named Lieutenant General Nitin Kohli — who was six months junior to the former — as the signal officer-in-chief.

Bisht had challenged the appointment in the armed forces tribunal.

However, Rawat has no plans to seek legal recourse. Asked to comment on the matter and the allegations against him, Rawat told HT, “The defence ministry and the army have to take a decision. I don’t intend to go to court and I will not discuss this issue at all with media.”

Rawat is currently the commandant of Jabalpur-based College of Materials Management, while Sarin heads the army’s information technology wing.


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