Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor on Monday decided to issue show-cause notice to four senior officers named in a land scam in Darjeeling, amid speculation that soon-to-retire Military Secretary Lt. Gen. Avadesh Prakash may escape sacking.

The four officers will be given 30 days time to show cause why action cannot be taken against them for issuing a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) to a private realtor in Siliguri to purchase a 70-acre land adjacent to the Sukna military station.

Sources said the notices would be issued in a couple of days. A decision on possible further action would depend on the replies to the notices, top Army officials said. Lt. Gen. Prakash effectively would have retired on January 31 before the expiry of the 30-day notice period escaping dismissal.

The Army chief issued the directions in this regard to Adjutant-General Lt. Gen. Mukesh Sabharwal.

However, under the Army law, Gen. Prakash will be liable to punishment, disciplinary action or administrative action up to three years after his retirement. It could be loss of pension and other retirement benefits.

Lt. Gen. Prakash as Military Secretary is one of the top eight advisers to Gen. Kapoor. Lt. Gen. Prakash, along with Lt. Gen. P.K. Rath, Lt. Gen. Ramesh Halgali and Maj. Gen. P. Sen were found “culpable” by an Army probe in the sale of the 70-acre land to a private realtor on the basis of an NoC issued by the Sukna military station.

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