Former Army chief General Deepak Kapoor, whose name has surfaced in the Adarsh housing society scam, had also been embroiled in questionable procurement of tents and other equipment when he headed the northern command in 2005.
However the issue wasn’t fully probed because the “whistleblower” officer, Lt Gen H S Panag, who as the new northern command chief had opened the inquiry into the issue, was transferred halfway into his tenure from the northern command in February 2008. A subsequent CAG inquiry also raised objections at the purchases, but no action was taken against Gen Kapoor.
A court of inquiry (COI) had been ordered into the purchase of tents during Gen Kapoor’s tenure. The CAG in a report to Parliament in 2008, had held that Gen Kapoor, as Northern Army Commander in 2005-06, had procured items worth crores “which were not related to urgent requirements”. It criticized Gen Kapoor and three other Army Commanders for “wrongly exercising financial powers delegated to them”.
Although Lt Gen Panag was abruptly transferred, he did manage to initiate administrative action against one Major General of the Ordinance Corps and a Major General of the Supply Corps. Miffed over his unceremonious transfer from the northern command after raising the issue, Panag also apprised defence minister A K Antony about the issue but no action was taken. The PMO was also told. Highly placed sources said Lt Gen Panag was shifted for fear his probe could embarrass the new Army chief Gen Kapoor.
A retired military law officer S K Aggarwal said the case could still be re-opened. “Had appropriate action been taken in the tent purchase irregularities without suppressing the issue at that time, the Army may not have faced embarrassment today. All the scandals in which General Kapoor’s name ever surfaced can be reopened as a deterrent measure by the ministry to set an example for future.”
-via The Times of India