The Supreme Court on Monday cleared the decks for the appointment of Lt. Gen. Dalbir Singh as the next Army Chief by refusing to grant an urgent hearing to challenger Lt. Gen. Ravi Dastane. Lt. Gen. Singh is scheduled to take over from Gen. Bikram Singh on August 1, 2014.
Lt. Gen. Dastane contended that Lt. Gen. Singh’s nomination was based on a “wholly illegal” promotion as Army Commander two years ago.
Lt. Gen. Dastane, who was also in the race for the Army Commander’s post in 2012, said his career subsequently stagnated while Lt. Gen. Singh rose in the ranks despite a disciplinary and vigilance ban.
The apex court had agreed to hear the case sometime in September 2014. But Lt. Gen Dastane chose to move an application before the vacation court in June, seeking an urgent date.
“What is the hurry? There is no urgency in the case. It is only a matter of vindication of your service, nothing to do with the Army Chief’s selection,” Justice T.S. Thakur said. The Bench ordered that the application be posted for hearing in September, thus ensuring a smooth takeover for Lt. Gen Singh on August 1.