Chief Gen. Kapoor locks horns with his possible successor Gen. Singh
A Daily Mail investigation Gen. Kapoor is trying to minimize Gen. Singh’s chances of promotion.
Singh responds by exposing his real estate interests. This is why Lt. Gen. P.C. Bhardwaj was promoted by Kapoor as the Indian Army’s vice chief in September. Looks like Gen. Kapoor is wrong about his theory that his army will have to fight on two fronts. Here’s a third front, General.
NEW DELHI, Pakistan—An outrageous feud has erupted amongst the top brass of India Army as two top Generals, the chief, General Deepak Kapoor, and his putative successor and the Eastern Command boss, Lt. General V.K. Singh, have locked horns over the issue of corruption scams in the army , reveal the findings of The Daily Mail.
According to the findings of The Daily Mail, the difference between the Indian army Chief General Kapoor and the Chief of Army’s Eastern Command, Lt. General V.K Singh, who is the senior-most Lieutenant General, were emerging for the past few months after the inquiries into a military land scam began. These finding indicate that this tension between the two top general officers of the Indian army reached to the extreme when a Court of Inquiry, convened by the Eastern Army Commander who is based in Fort William in Calcutta, started the proceedings and recommended the sacking of Army Chief General Kapoor’s Principal Staff Officer (PSO) and Military Secretary Lt. Gen. Avadhesh Prakash.
According to the sources in the in the Indian army, the Army Chief General Kapoor has made an abortive attempt to defend his top confidant. Our sources in the Ministry of Defence informed that General Kapoor has officially informed the Defence Minister A.K. Antony that Lt. Gen. V.K Singh was taking an over enthusiastic and “undue interest” in the land scam case of North Bengal
The Daily Mail’s investigations further indicate that the Court of Inquiry, presided over by Commander 4 Corps, based at Tezpur-based, Lt. Gen. K.T. Parnaik, had forwarded its findings to Lt. Gen. Singh. Based on the findings and on consultations with the Judge Advocate General (JAG) in his command, the eastern army commander recommended the “termination of services” of Lt. Gen. Prakash because of his alleged involvement in a land scam case. The army sources say that this situation has paralyzed the entire military establishment as the scuffle between the 2 bigwigs of the Indian Army is rising day by day with Army Chief trying to show his muscles to Commander Eastern Command and resisting JAG branch’s recommendations while Commander Eastern Command sticking to the set rules and procedures.
The Daily Mail’s investigations further reveal that the Indian Defence Minister, who istrying hard to stay away from this controversy over the corruption scam of the Generals of the Indian army, held a confidential meeting with his Army Chief General Kapoor on the eve of Christmas and asked General Kapoor to go easy on the case of his PSO Lt. Gen. Prakash. The sources say that upon this Gen. Kapoor demurred and defended his confidant but failed to convince the Defence Minister.
These investigations further indicate that while the report of the Court of Inquiry was being “studied and analysed”, another probe from the central command brought out “the involvement without blaming” of the military secretary in awarding an Rs 1.7-crore contract to a north Bengal-based realtor, Dilip Aggarwal.
Brigadier (Rtd) M.K Singh, a former Indian army officer and is one way or the other, associated to the state of affairs, upon contacting by The Daily Mail said that it was all indicative of a serious communication gap between Army Headquarters and the Eastern Command, a fully operational authority whose area of responsibility covers the maximum length of international borders. According to Brigadier Singh, after the report of the Court of Inquiry (CoI) was hand-delivered from Calcutta at 9.30 on the morning of December 23, Wednesday, Army Chief Kapoor was summoned for an unscheduled meeting by the Defence Minister in his office and he discussed the matter with General Kapoor for about two hours but general Kapoor remained stick to defend ‘his’ men and the meeting ended with no positive outcome.
Brigadier Singh says that there was cold war going on between general Kaporr and the Fort William boss Lt.. General V.K Singh for the past few months over some personal issues. He says that since Gen. Singh had convened a Court of Inquiry that indicted Lt. Gen. Prakash in the land case. Gen. Kapoor felt that the Eastern Commander did not have the authority to summon the army chief’s principal staff officer and he did so with ill-intentions. He further said that Lt. Gen. V.K. Singh, whose age was caught in a discrepancy, was bypassed earlier for the post of Vice-Chief of the Army staff and somehow blamed General Kapoor for it and that is perhaps from where the row between the two began.
The Daily Mail’s findings reveal that a meeting between Defence Minister and Army Chief General Kapoor was held in the afternoon of December 24 after the minister had returned from Hyderabad. This meeting lasted for 40 minutes. During the meeting the Defence Minister and the army Chief discussed the Eastern Command’s recommendation to “terminate the services” of Prakash over the alleged Rs 300-crore land scam in north Bengal. Sources in the defence Ministry say that Minister Antony sought a summary of the investigation and the recommendations and directed that the military secretary be prevailed upon to put in his papers to avoid further embarrassment to his ministry and the army.
The Daily Mail findings suggest that Gen. Kapoor protested and defended his PSO’s position and pleaded to the Defence Minister that the Eastern Command under Lt. Gen. Singh, who was the convening authority of the court of inquiry that has indicted the military secretary, has taken an “undue interest” in investigating Lt. Gen. Prakash. The military secretary was called as a witness to the court and the eastern commander does not have authority to investigate him or recommend action against one of the eight principal staff officers.
The Daily Mail’s findings further indicate that the army Chief suggested that the recommendation to “terminate the services” in other words, cashier or sack the military secretary should be toned down to “administrative action” that could involve cutting his benefits but will not drape an officer with such a long career in ignominy but the minister did not agree to it and instead conveyed that Lt. Gen. Prakash should be persuaded to put in his papers if he does not do so voluntarily.
These findings indicate that the next day, December 25, Gen. Kapoor visited the defence minister at his residence, ostensibly to wish him on Christmas. Staff at the defence minister’s residence expected the meeting to last about 30 minutes or so. But it ended after 10 minutes in a very cold manner.
The Daily Mail’s investigations reveal that during the time of the first unscheduled meeting, the Defence Minister was not properly briefed about the second investigation in Lucknow by a Major General. That investigation indicted seven officers, including a Major General, in the Ranikhet Kumaon Regimental Centre land scam while Military Secretary Lt. Gen. Prakash is the Colonel Commandant of the Kumaon Regiment. It was a double whammy for the Army Chief General Kapoor and his Principal aide.
The defence analysts here at New Delhi believe that this state of affairs where the Chief of Army Staff is patronizing the officers that have been proved guilty of corruption, the Indian Army is bound suffer badly. They suggest that general Kapoor should either be removed or be asked for a volunteer retirement from the service to save the image and reputation of the institution that is already suffering from big blows of corruption.