The Army is belittling military decorations by recommending undeserving personnel. Of the 425 gallantry awards approved by President Pratibha Patil, one has gone to a brigadier whose educational qualifications are questionable.
The army has awarded a Vishisht Seva Medal (VSM) for distinguished services to Brigadier AK Srivastava, an officer from the Army’s legal branch, who does not possess a law degree. Sources said after the Army headquarters received a complaint against Srivastava last year the officer’s credentials were exposed.
The JAG’s (Judge and Advocate General) office found he had failed the third semester law exams at Choudhary Charan Singh University in Meerut and not appeared for the fifth semester. The Army had asked the university to confirm if the Brigadier had actually done his LLB, a pre-requisite to serve in the Army’s JAG branch. The university said it had not awarded him a law degree.
Srivastava heads the legal branch of the Army’s Western Command and advises the Command on all legal issues including disciplinary matters.
Army spokesperson Colonel SK Sakhuja said the matter is under investigation.