NEW DELHI: Vice Admiral Bimal Verma on Tuesday withdrew his petition challenging the government's move to appoint his junior Vice Admiral Karambir Singh as the next naval chief despite his seniority after the court told him to exhaust the internal channels.
Vice Admiral Verma on Monday took the legal recourse and approached the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) against his supersession when the current government announced the name of Eastern Naval Commander Vice Admiral Karambir Singh to succeed the Chief of Naval Staff after the retirement of Admiral Sunil Lanba on 31 May 2019.
Verma who is senior to Vice Admiral Singh by six months was asked by the AFT to follow protocol and first file a statutory complaint to the government, according to the sources.
The government has made the selection following a merit-based approach and did not go with the long-held tradition of appointing the senior-most eligible officer for the post.
Vice Admiral Singh, who is at present serving as the Flag Officer Commanding in Chief (FOC-in-C) of the Eastern Naval Command in Visakhapatnam, will be the first helicopter pilot to become chief of naval staff.
Besides Verma, the other contenders included Vice Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral G Ashok Kumar, FOC-in-C of Western Naval Command Vice Admiral Ajit Kumar and FOC-in-C of Southern Naval Command Vice Admiral Anil Kumar Chawla.
Vice Admiral Bimal Verma can approach the AFT if his statutory complaint is not addressed.