A Major General who was in charge of all army supplies in the Northern Command has come under the scanner after he was reportedly caught red-handed while accepting a bribe from a local contractor. A court of inquiry has been ordered against the officer — Maj Gen V K Sharma, the Major General Army Supply Corps (MG ASC) of the Northern Command.
Sources said the Northern Command received several complaints against the officer, mostly from contractors who accused him of demanding favours in return for awarding contracts. Given the serious nature of the complaints and the senior rank of the officer, an operation was carried out by Army authorities to probe the matter.
According to reports, the officer was caught red-handed in a possible “sting operation” involving a contractor. “A court of inquiry has been ordered into allegations of financial impropriety against Maj Gen Sharma,” confirmed a senior Army HQ officer, denying that the officer has been placed under detention.
Maj Gen Sharma was in charge of supplies for the vital Northern Command, which has the largest number of soldiers deployed for counter insurgency and border duties. The command procures crores worth of rations and supplies for soldiers posted at the Siachen glacier, Kargil, the Kashmir valley and along the Line of Control.
The quality of food supplied to soldiers in the Northern Command had also come under the scanner in 2010 after an audit report revealed that troops were getting food that is unfit for human consumption and at times is more than two years beyond the expiry date.
Just recently, in another case, the Army had ordered a court of inquiry on allegations, levelled against a brigadier posted in New Delhi, that he had not returned money borrowed from his subordinates when on a previous posting in the north-east.
In the past few years, several senior Army officers have faced serious allegations of corruption ranging from alleged irregularities in the procurement of dry rations, operation of a meat contract, and sale of liquor and were also indicted by Courts of Inquiry earlier in these cases.
In previous cases, the government had, a few years ago, named a Lieutenant General, a Major General and two Brigadiers as being among the officers indicted by a court of inquiry instituted to look into alleged irregularities in procurement of dry rations.
The ministry of defence (MoD), a few years ago, had also named another lieutenant general and a brigadier as being among the officers indicted by a court of inquiry instituted to enquire into alleged irregularities in the operation of a frozen meat contract for the Ladakh sector in the Army’s Northern Command.
In yet another case in previous years, the government had also named a major general and four brigadiers as being among the officers indicted by a court of inquiry in the sale of liquor and financial irregularities.
-via Financial Express