Lt Gen P K Rath, who is facing court martial in the Sukna land scam case, has alleged in the Delhi High Court that there was “malafide” intention as the Eastern Command had initiated action against him only after he was designated the Deputy Chief of Army.
In his petition before the High Court here, Rath has contended that he had been “singled out” in the case and the “offence” against him had been “prejudged”.
The Eastern Command, headed by Army Chief-designate Lt Gen V. K. Singh, had initiated the Court of Inquiry against him much after the Cabinet Committee of Appointments had approved his elevation as Deputy Chief of Army Staff, Rath said in his 24-page petition filed on Thursday.
He contended that the order to attach him to the Kolkata-based headquarters, just before he could take over as Deputy Chief of Army, was “highly discriminatory, arbitrary and non-speaking order, hence bad in law.”
Casting aspersions on the role of V K Singh, he said, “The attachment order has been passed with a malafide intention to stop the petitioner from joining the post as Deputy Chief of Army Staff (DCOAS).”
Rath, along with former Military Secretary Lt Gen Avadesh Prakash, is facing court martial in the case that relates to No-Objection Certificate given by army to a private realtor to construct an educational institution at a 71-acre plot adjacent to Sukna military base in Darjeeling.
Rath said he had informed Lt Gen Singh within 15 days about the memoradum of understanding (MOU) signed in April last year with a private realtor and on the orders of Lt Gen Singh he also got the MOU cancelled.
“It is only after six months of cancellation of the MOU, when the petitioner was transferred to post of DCOAS (Deputy Chief of Army Staff), that the Eastern Command Headquarters initiated the proceedings only to deny the petitioner from being posted to the above post,” he said.
“Of all the persons implicated in the incident (Sukna scam), only the petitioner has been singled out and attached and denied the posting as DCOAS,” he said.
“The offence against the petitioner has been prejudged even before the petitioner has been given an opportunity to exercise his rights under the Army Rule, which has been held by the courts as mandatory,” Rath said.
He said while other officers found culpable in the case enjoyed their posts, he was removed as 33 Corps Commander, though entitled to continue in the post during his attachment period with the Eastern Command.
“During the attachment period, the petitioner is entitled to continue to be held against the appointment held by him immediately before the attachment and no replacement could be effected until completion of the proceedings initiated against him,” he added.