NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday refused to stay the appointment of Lieutenant General Dalbir Singh Suhag as the next Army Chief, who is to take over charge from August 1.
“There is no reason why should we stay,” a Bench headed by Justice T S Thakur said after taking note of the submissions made by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi that the ban imposed on Lt Gen Suhag in 2012 was already lifted and he was discharged from all charges.
The court said there is no urgency to stay the appointment of Lt Gen Suhag as pleaded by Lt Gen Ravi Dastane.
The Centre also justified the appointment, saying there is nothing in the allegations levelled by Lt Gen Dastane and Lt Gen Suhag fulfills all the criteria for the post. He was senior-most in the seniority list, it said.
The court was hearing a plea filed by Lt Gen Dastane alleging favouritism in the selection of Lt Gen Suhag as the next Army Chief.
Earlier, the Centre had submitted that the alleged lapses which were made as grounds to impose disciplinary ban on Lt Gen Suhag by the then Army Chief Gen V K Singh between April and May 2012 were ‘premeditated’, ‘vague’ and ‘illegal’.
Gen Singh, who is a now Minister of State in the NDA Government, had placed Lt Gen Suhag under a disciplinary and vigilance (DV) ban.
The ban was imposed for alleged failure of command and control in an operation carried out by an intelligence unit working directly under him when he was Dimapur-based 3 Corps commander.
The UPA-II Government had named Lt Gen Suhag as the next Army Chief to succeed incumbent Gen Bikram Singh when he retires on July 31.