Allegations, counter-allegations. Claims, counter-claims. This time however, not against the enemy, but within the Indian Army itself. Recent controversies unveiled by former armymen who participated in the Kargil debacle have opened up a new Pandora ’s Box of falsified records.
The Army on Monday said it will file a review petition against the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) order to correct the records of the 1999 Kargil war following allegations by a Brigadier that the battle accounts were fudged.
“The Army has decided to file an appeal in the AFT in the Brigadier Davinder Singh case. The Army records show that there is no reason to correct them, as they are based on battle performance reports filed by other senior officers,” an Army officer in the headquarters here said.
The AFT, which deals with legal disputes of the Armed Forces, had in its May 27 order, on a plea from Davinder Singh, then 70 Infantry Brigade Commander, asked the Army to expunge his Annual Confidential Report(ACR) written by his superior Lt Gen Kishan Pal and also directed it to correct certain records of the Kargil conflict.
Brig. Singh moved the court in 2006, complaining that his role as leader of the 70 Infantry Brigade in the Batalik Sector had been underplayed and this had cost him a war medal and promotions.
The Tribunal had gone by his contention that his contribution had been incorrectly represented by Lt.Gen Pal.
In its order, the Tribunal, headed by Justice A. K. Mathur, had held that “the ACRs were not written in an objective and unbiased manner” by Lt Gen Pal.
Among the records it had wanted corrected were a paragraph in the After Action Report of the war and two other paragraphs in of the Kargil Account.
“The Army will in a day or two file the review petition asking the AFT to quash the part with respect to the AAR and Kargil Account, but would not challenge the expunging of the ACR written by Lt Gen Pal,” the officer said.
The officer also sought to counter some of the contentions of Singh reported by a section of the media.
Regarding Singh being recommended for a Mahavir Chakra for the Kargil battle, the officer said none of the records with the Army suggested that he was ever cited for the war-time gallantry medal.
He also said there was “no bias” in the ACRs written by Lt Gen Pal that Singh had contended cost him a promotion to the rank of Major General.
The officer said Singh was given five opportunities before a promotion board between 2002 and 2006, two more than an officer was in the normal course entitled to, but failed to qualify.
“Promotions are not based on any one event. It is based on his entire career and he did not make it to the next post based on his overall profile and comparative batch merit,” he said.
-via The Hindu