'Top commander showed bias towards Kargil war officer'

Last Updated: Thu, May 27, 2010 13:15 hrs

New Delhi: The Armed Forces Tribunal has held that a former Army commander showed bias towards a brigadier under whose command some of the major victories were achieved in the 1999 Kargil conflict and directed that the affected officer be considered for a notional promotion.

The Tribunal has asked the Army to consider former 70 Infantry Brigade Commander Brigadier Devinder Singh for promotion to the notional rank of major general and to put the relevant records and documents pertaining to operations by his formation in Batalik sector written by Lt. Gen. Kishan Pal, then General Officer Commanding (GOC) 15 Corps, be corrected and put in the right perspective.

Due to the 'fudged' battle accounts, Brig Singh was awarded only a Vishisht Seva Medal (VSM) and not a Mahavir Chakra, which he was cited for.

During the visit of then Army Chief Gen V P Malik to the war-front, Lt Gen Kishan Pal had estimated the number of intruders to be around 45 whereas Brig Singh estimated it to be over 600, which later proved to be right.

Brigadier Singh filed a complaint with the Army Headquarters in 2000, charging Lt Gen Pal with bias, which was rejected by the Army two years later.

In 2004, the Defence Ministry struck down Lt Gen Pal's assessment of Brigadier Singh's battle performance but refused to strike down key sections of his ACR written by the former Corps Commander.

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