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Army To Slap Show Cause Notices On 4 Generals In Land Scam

The Army on Monday decided to slap show cause notices on four of its senior officers, including Military Secretary Lt Gen Avadesh Prakash, for their alleged involvement in a land scam at a military station
PTI January 11, 2010 22:31 IST
PTI
The Army on Monday decided to slap show cause notices on four of its senior officers, including Military Secretary Lt Gen Avadesh Prakash, for their alleged involvement in a land scam at a military station in Darjeeling.

 A decision on possible further action would depend on the replies to the show cause notices, top army officials said.

Army chief Gen Deepak Kapoor issued the directions in this regard to Adjutant General Lt Gen Mukesh Sabharwal this evening, top Army officials said here.

Lt Gen Prakash, who retires on January 31, will get 30 days to reply to the show cause notice.

However, under Army law, Lt Gen Prakash will be liable to any punishment, disciplinary action or administrative action up to three years after his retirement.

"Only after the replies are received by the Army headquarters would a decision on whether administrative or disciplinary action should be taken in the case be arrived at," the officials said.

Lt Gen Prakash, along with Lt Gen P K Rath, Lt Gen Ramesh Halgali and Maj Gen P Sen were found "culpable" by an Army probe in the sale of a 70-acre land to a private realtor on the basis of a No Objection Certificate issued by the Sukna military station.

The sale became an issue after it came to light that the private realtor had falsely represented that he would open an affiliate of Ajmer-based Mayo College on the land in Darjeeling.

The army's Discipline and Vigilance Branch under Lt Gen Sabharwal had last week upheld recommendations of Eastern Army Commander Lt Gen V K Singh for disciplinary or administrative action against the four Generals in the case.

Reports had suggested that Lt Gen Singh has recommended sacking of Lt Gen Prakash and disciplinary action against the other three Generals.

Once the replies are received to the notice, the Army has the option of ordering Summary of Evidence by issuing a charge-sheet listing the prima-facie case against the Generals.

If the Summary of Evidence is convinced, then Court Martial proceedings would be initiated to give them an opportunity to defend themselves of the charges.

If held guilty by the Court Martial, the punishment could range from a censure to dismissal.

Otherwise, the Army could decide on administrative action against the Generals that could also range from censure to dismissal. PTI