H N Singh Becomes Lieutenant General
In a ruling that is expected to have a significant impact in stopping the arbitrariness of promotions in the Armed Forces, the Supreme Court on Thursday gave relief to Major General H N Singh, who was not promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General despite a vacancy.
The apex court quashed the order of the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet and reinstated Singh, directing the Armed Forces to give him all due benefits.
A Bench including Justice A K Patnaik said: “In view of the fact that we have found the order of rejection of the appellant’s claim for promotion to the rank of Lieutenant General, on the ground that he was on extended service, to be invalid. We hereby set aside the operative part of the order of the appointments committee of then Cabinet.”
“It is also apparent, that the selection board had recommended the promotion of Singh on the basis of his record of service, past performance, qualities of leadership and vision,” the Bench noted.
Slamming the deliberations of the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, the court said, “It did not record any reason to negate the aforesaid interference, relating to the merit and suitability of the appellant. We are therefore of the view, that the appellant deserves promotion to the rank of Lieutenant General.” The court directed the Armed Forces to give him all monetary benefits, which would have been due to him, on account of his promotion to the rank of Lieutenant General.
The court said that the fundamental rights of the Major General was violated and said: “It would be a sad day if the Armed Forces declines to give effect to the legitimate expectations of the highest ranked Armed forces personnel.”