The Armed Forces Tribunal has held that a former Army commander showed bias against a brigadier under whose command some of the major victories were achieved in the 1999 Kargil conflict and directed that the affected officer be considered for a notional promotion.
The Tribunal has asked the Army to consider former 70 Infantry Brigade Commander Brigadier Devinder Singh for promotion to the notional rank of major general and to put the relevant records and documents pertaining to operations by his formation in Batalik sector written by Lt. Gen. Kishan Pal, then General Officer Commanding (GOC) 15 Corps, be corrected and put in the right perspective.
In its order, the Tribunal, headed by Justice A K Mathur, held that “the annual confidential reports (ACRs) were not written in an objective and unbiased manner” by Lt. Gen. Pal.
Noting that the report of a person who writes the ACRs in a biased manner could not be allowed to sustain, it observed that the then GOC was not favourably motivated towards Brigadier Singh and had attempted to tailor the report belittling his achievements.
“As per the Tribunal order, I will also be considered for promotion to the notional rank of a major general and the records about the operations by my brigade in the war will be set straight,” Brig (retd) Singh said here.
In his plea, which was transferred from the Delhi High Court to the Principal Bench of the Tribunal, Brig Singh said he had contended that in the post-Kargil operations report, Lt Gen Pal had falsely shown four of his most successful battalions under a fictitious headquarters commanded by the then Deputy General Officer of 3 Infantry Division, Brig Ashok Duggal.
“For reasons best known to Lt Gen Kishan Pal, he was favouring and giving credit to Brig Duggal and my command tenure was shown in bad light. Though it could not help him and he could not take his next rank, I had to suffer a lot because of this act,” Brig Singh said here.