Defence Minister A.K. Antony has asked Chief of the Army Staff General Deepak Kapoor to take disciplinary action against Lieutenant General Awadesh Prakash, for his alleged involvement in a land issue in Darjeeling, West Bengal.

The Minister’s missive came after the Sukhna land issue — in which some senior officers allegedly played a major role in issuing a ‘No-Objection Certificate’ to a property developer in buying a 70-acre plot near the military establishment there — came out.

“The Ministry, with the approval of the Defence Minister, has advised Gen. Deepak Kapoor to take disciplinary action against the Military Secretary [Lt. Gen. Prakash],” a Ministry official said.

The advice could translate into court martial proceedings against the Lt. Gen. who is due to retire in four days. Sources in the Ministry said the view overruled Gen. Kapoor’s decision. He had recommended administrative action against Lt. Gen. Prakash that does not require a court martial.

The matter came to light after the Eastern Army Commander, Lt. Gen. V.K. Singh, the Army chief-designate, recommended strict action against Lt. Gen. Prakash and other officials following a Court of Inquiry ordered by him. The court indicted these officials for issuing the NoC.

The Army has named Lt. Gen. G.M. Nair as the next Military Secretary.

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