Jaitley ends controversy, Suhag next Army chief

Defence minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday, putting a cap on the raging controversy over the appointment of Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag as next Army Chief, said the government’s decision on it was final. ‘As far as government is concerned, appointment (of Lt Gen Suhag as Army Chief) is final and government stands by it,’ Jaitley said in Rajya Sabha.

The defence minister, however, has also sought an explanation from the defence secretary RK Mathur on the ministry’s affidavit in the Supreme Court which said that former Army Chief Gen VK Singh’s decision to impose a promotion ban on Army Chief-designate Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag was ‘illegal and premeditated.’ The affidavit proved to be embarrassing for VK Singh, now a MoS in Modi government. Several ministry officials met Jaitley on Wednesday to give their side of the story, said sources in the ministry. The defence ministry told SC in a recent affidavit in a promotion case related to Lt Gen Ravi Dastane that the alleged lapses which were made as grounds to impose disciplinary ban on Suhag were ‘premeditated,vague and illegal’.  

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