Darjeeling Land Scam: Inquiry Recommends Sacking of Military Secy

An Army probe into the Darjeeling land scam has recommended termination of services of Lt Gen Avadhesh Prakash and court martial proceedings against Lt Gen PK Rath whose appointment as Deputy Chief of Army Staff was later scrapped by the Ministry of Defene.

The inquiry suggested disciplinary action and court martial against Major General P Sen and administrative action against Lt Gen Ramesh Halgali, who is presently commanding 11 Corps.

In addition, a recommendation of separate probe against a Colonel of the legal department has been made. The Colonel gave dubious advice regarding the land deal.

According to inquiry, Prakash, Military Secretary at Army HQ and one of the seniormost Generals, constantly kept touch with a Siliguri real estate developer, Dilip Agarwal, who brokered a contentious land deal in Darjeeling.

The inquiry, through phone records, established that Agarwal, who signed MoU to get no-objection certificates (NOCs) from the Army for purchase of almost 70 acres of land near the 33 Corps HQ in Sukna, was continually in touch with Prakash when the deal was being sealed.

The Army gave NOC after claim of an institution that it was an affiliate of the Mayo College in Ajmer and was going to set up a branch in Sukna. Mayo College denied it had any affiliate.

Besides connection between Prakash and Agarwal, Rath, who as then 33 Corps Commander authorized granting of NOCs, told the inquiry that Prakash used his clout to get the deal through.

Reports said that Lt Gen VK Singh recommended termination of services of Prakash on the basis of the court of inquiry findings and opinion by the Army’s legal department.

While the recommendations have been forwarded by the Eastern Army command, the onus for action against Prakash, who is one of the seven Principal Staff Officers (PSO) at Army HQ, now lies with Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor.

Reports said that the Army Chief now has the choice to accept the recommendations and terminate Prakash’s services or overrule the matter on sound legal grounds. If the recommendation is accepted, Prakash can either accept dismissal or face court martial proceedings where he can contest the charges against him.

Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker