NEW DELHI: The Defence Ministry on Saturday rejected the plea of Vice Admiral Bimal Verma, who has challenged the appointment of Vice Admiral Karambir Singh as the next Chief of the Indian Navy.
Verma had questioned the government's decision of overlooking him for the post of Navy chief despite he being the seniormost.
Rejecting his statutory complaint filed on April 10, Defence Ministry's Joint Secretary (Navy) Richa Mishra clarified that though seniority is an important criterion while appointing services chiefs but it is not the "sole" criteria. It has been dispensed with in the past too while appointing the Navy chiefs.
The Defence Ministry in its order said, "The Central government after careful examination of the matter is of the opinion that this statutory petition dated April 10 from Vice Admiral Verma regarding his non-selection as the chief of naval staff is devoid of merit and be rejected."
The ministry further said, "Upon examination, the Central government is satisfied that the parameters for selection as evident from consistent practice were applied uniformly to all the officers in the zone of consideration and based on the assessment, Verma being the senior most eligible officer was considered and found unsuitable to tenets of the appointment of Chief of naval staff."
"The Central government is also satisfied that no unsubstantiated frivolous, extraneous or irrelevant consideration has had a bearing on this said selection," Richa Mishra said in her order rejecting the Verma's plea.
After the government overlooked him and designated Vice Admiral Karambir Singh as the next Navy chief, Verma who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Andaman and Nicobar Command approached the armed forces tribunal.
The government last month named Vice Admiral Karambir Singh as next chief of the naval staff, succeeding Admiral Sunil Lanba who will retire on May 31.