Manohar Parrikar for CBI probe against two serving army officers

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The defence ministry has sought a CBI investigation against two major generals who are accused of owning assets disproportionate to their known sources of income.

The ministry has forwarded the complaints to the CBI and has sought a reply, according to defence ministry sources. The CBI will look into the complaints and report back to the ministry.

According to media reports, two serving officers, major general Ashok Kumar, General Officer Commanding, Kolkata sub area and major general SS Lamba, posted in Delhi as additional director general, Ordinance, are in the dock. 

Kumar was awarded the Ati Vishisht Seva medal, while Lamba was presented with the Sena medal last year.

The allegation was made at the time when lieutenant general R Bhalla , who retired recently, was military secretary. Sources said lieutenant general Bhalla (retired) can also face CBI questioning, if needed.

An allegation was made against the generals in September last year that they had bribed to be promoted as lieutenant generals. The defence ministry noted that despite the allegation, the army headquarter cleared them for promotion.

A meeting of the army’s Special Promotion Board was held last year to fill up the vacancy of three lieutenant generals for which about 33 officers were considered.

A set of names cleared by the Board was sent to the ministry, while a set of names against some officers surfaced.

Defence minister Manohar Parikkar looked into the issue after the army’s promotion policy, which was under scanner for some time, was debated intensely on the social media.

It was found one of the two officers against whom the ministry sought a CBI probe had faced a CBI inquiry over allegations of corruption in a Border Roads Organisation project. But the CBI did not find enough evidence, said sources.

In the meantime, his promotion came up and he got the Discipline and Vigilance (DV) clearance since there was no formal proceedings against him.