Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor, who was directed by Defence Minister A.K. Antony to court-martial a top general in the Sukna land scam, on Thursday defended his earlier decision of a lighter administrative action against him.
“It will not be wise to assume that the action was taken in isolation. I have to be fair, just and also look into the culpability of each individual officer. I can’t put all of them in the same bracket,” he told Karan Thapar in CNN-IBN’s Devil’s Advocate programme
(The scam involves the sale of a 71-acre land adjacent to the Sukna military station in West Bengal for which the Army had issued a No Objection Certificate to a private realtor.)
He was asked if he was soft on his close aide and former Military Secretary Lt. Gen. Avadesh Prakash while he had ordered court-martial for Lt. Gen. P.K. Rath, another top official who was indicted in the Sukna case.
Gen. Kapoor said the former Military Secretary was only one of the Principal Staff Officers among the eight he had. “One PSO is as dear or far away from me as the other,” he said.
In the wake of his decision to order administrative action against Lt. Gen. Prakash, the Defence Minister asked him to initiate disciplinary action, that led to the launching of court martial proceedings against him.
Meanwhile, Lt. Gen. P.K. Rath, who has been indicted along with Lt. Gen. Avadesh Prakash in the case, has moved the Delhi High Court against his court-martial order.
He has also challenged the government’s decision to scrap his appointment as Deputy Chief of the Army Staff.