Though the order to give him sweeping powers was issued on March 7, 2011, Singh had, in fact, introduced it retrospectively from November 2010.
But in March this year, two months before Singh retired, the Defence Ministry reversed his sweeping modifications after it was found that they were impacting promotions and selections of a large number of officers, and Solicitor General Rohinton F Nariman felt the changes made by Singh were not “legally sustainable”.
Nariman also said any proceedings in selection boards after March 7, 2011 based on the moderated confidential reports would have to be “revised accordingly”.
Asked by The Indian Express how many selection board orders had been reversed following the Solicitor General’s opinion, the Army Headquarters only said: “Based on observations of the Ministry of Defence on this policy, the necessary modifications to the policy have already been carried out.”
According to the original Army rule, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) could expunge an entire ACR if it was found to be “grossly inconsistent” with the past profile of the officer who had been rated.
However, a letter dated March 7, 2011 issued by the Military Secretary’s branch said that this rule was amended to allow the COAS to moderate or expunge the ACR either partly or fully for the same reason as in the past.
Both orders, however, held that the changes made could not be revoked or reviewed. Although the force was informed of the amendment through the March 7, 2011 letter, the same letter said that Singh had approved this amendment and introduced it retrospectively since November 2010.
The letter said that moderation of ACRs could lead to changes in the numerical rating of officers and these ratings are amended in the confidential report as well as the database of the personnel.
Senior Defence Ministry officials told The Indian Express that they decided to seek legal opinion on the amendment after they found that the changes being made in the ACRs were impacting selections and promotions of a large number of officers. “Following the receipt of the Solicitor General’s opinion, we reversed everything,’’ a senior defence official said.
In his seven-page opinion received by the ministry on March 21 this year, Nariman categorically stated that the power conferred by the Army chief on himself “is not legally sustainable”.
“It has been stated that in the recently held selection boards, it has been noticed that the officers’ confidential reports have undergone drastic changes, effectively changing the merit of officers in the panel,” Nariman said. “Since the marks allotted in the confidential reports have a direct bearing on the promotion of an officer, any proceedings of the selection boards based on confidential reports which have been illegally modified would not be sustainable,’’ he said.
“It goes against the provision of mandatory expunction in the cases of gross inconsistency. Any confidential report which is found to be grossly inconsistent must be expunged in full,” Nariman said. “Therefore, paragraph 137, as it stood prior to the amendment, correctly did not leave any discretion in the Chief of Army Staff in such cases. To introduce an element of discretion now is therefore not permissible.”
Nariman was also of the opinion that the provision in both orders that the changes made by the Army chief cannot be revoked was beyond the powers of the Army Act and would have to be modified.
Original para 137 of Army order
“CR identified as grossly inconsistent or with inflationary/ deflationary/ subjective reporting, after due examination at appropriate level, may be expunged by the COAS. Expunctions approved by the COAS will be irrevocable. No re-initiation or review is permissible.”
Amended para 137 of Army order
“CR identified as grossly inconsistent or with inflationary/ deflationary/ subjective reporting, after due examination at appropriate level, may be either moderated or expunged in part or full by the COAS. Expunctions and moderations approved by the COAS will be irrevocable. No re-initiation or review is permissible.”
moderation needs to be highlighted to an extent ie previous acrs are 9 ,then to what extent ,if below this ie 9/8 ,8/7 below this no officer in indian army can be promoted Had this been there then Gen VKSINGH was right to that amendment to the army rule otherwise it is The date of birth issue
Chief of army Staff always had power under the law to mend a CR either partially or wholly which for some cogent reason is found to be lop sided.Therefore the catchy head lines by the media is unwarranted and apparently to a reader appears to be motivated reporting .It should try to give complete unbiased picture of his powers under the Army Act1950.Rules and Regulations.
1. Do you people know what are you writing about or have you taken upon yourself to keep castigating a HONEST MAN? The amendment was in the INTEREST of the COMPLAINANTS because ONCE THE ENTIRE CONFIDENTIAL REPORT( CR ) WAS EXPUNGED the COMPLAINANT had to EARN ONE MORE CR before he could be considered for PROMOTION (CUMULATIVE EFFECT being that the COMPLAINANT got promoted 2-3yrs after his BATCH MATES). MODERATION OF CR based on PAST PERFORMANCE of the COMPLAINANT helped him in getting PROMOTED almost with his BATCH MATES. In case you have the INSIDE KNOWLEDGE please QUOTE the NAMES OF COMPLAINANTS WHO WERE ADVERSELY AFFECTED by this RULE. 2. Please STOP MALIGNING the GENERAL FOR SATISFYING YOU POLITICAL MASTERS / PERSONAL GAINS.
Indians Express needs better staff as they are desesprately trying to create sensations knowing fully well that their journalism ability is bankrupt. so in order to remain in limelight publish such stories.
If you cannot understand what you read then do not comment. Express report is misleading and the two boxes showing comparison are a giver. If he could totally wipe out ACR as per previous rules then he was doing good by just moderating.Express and its mouse in chief shekhar have an agenda so understand it.
Your article is only meant to malign as you have so ably done so far. If one reads what you have given as comparison then what is the difference?Earlier chiefs could SET ASIDE and the amended version said he could now MODERATE. Mr Gupta and Ritu did you find out the difference or just vomitted what some one in Army and MOD gave you. For all those who do not understand and has been explained by my friend who was the MS when this change came in after a STUDY GROUP recommended it,moderation was called for because of new system of quantification promulgated in 2008. Expunging as was the practice earler was more harmful in quantification system than moderation. The recommendation was from MS and as I understand all army commanders were explained this and majority agreed. Only some MOD officials were not agreeable as it did not favour their people who were giving money to them to get promoted.Let us not get misled by the journalism of LIES by express.
Yeah, Top brass has to ensure that everybody gets justice.Things are being kept in balance.Regards!
Expected of him! And to think that he is posing as incorruptible crusader along with Team Anna! Who is HE trying to fool? It is sad that there are such 'small' men holding high positions in the country's armed forces..someone who irritated the system all through his tenure on the date-of-birth issue, who suddenly found virtue and corruption all around him after all his ill-conceived plans to extract an extra year of service failed.. how could we Indians trust the security of the country on such people?? and how can we at all look upto to him to deliver us from this rotten system..
Hi, Every patriot of india must know the truth . The nation is in turmoil these days%u2014and foreign funded NGO and desh drohi media /reporters triggered anarchy gets worse every day. Our foreign enemies are smirking, at the gullible indian, as we fight like monkeys . Punch into google search MAHATMA GANDHI, RE- WRITING INDIAN HISTORY- VADAKAYIL . Know the explosive and shocking truth . It is still not too late. Keep your religion , caste and political leanings aside for now . Be Indian at this hour. Every patriot must read . Capt ajit vadakayil ..
The Army follows a Quantitative model for promotion. A large number of officers specially at higher ranks have already gained from the Generals manipulations. Those so detailed on the National Defence Course in the last two years will gain a 0.75% edge over others and will have a head start in all future selection boards. The mathematical advantage is unbeatable and is further compounded by Value Judgement which is also influenced by the course. So all the Chiefs men have already gained tremendously and we are only crying over spilt milk. All such gains should be removed, value judgement reversed and all boards and detailments on career courses over the last two years cancelled. Gen Singh must be dragged to courts to explain his belligerence. Anna should be careful about the company he seeks.
Indian Express, from right the beginning of controversy related to ex-army chief's age has been trying to malign his image. What I have observed is Express is not following the principle of neutral journalism. Many times your content does not justify your headline. I am very depressed to know the only newspaper which established the higher standard of truthfulness and neutrality during the emergency era has totally become biased. At least in the news material (spare editorial) neutrality can be maintained if you wish so.
There are sufficient grounds to to doubt the bona fide of General V.K. Singh (retired) in making such an amendment. One may have to conclude that it was good for the country that the one year extension he sought disputing his date of birth was not granted. Defence Ministry's action in the matter deserves praise.
I Fail to Understand why Media has started twisting Facts - Nowhere in the News, it gives even a feeling of " Sweeping Powers ". Alas! the HEADLINE Trumpets the Opposite.
Could none of Singh's predecessors and seniors detect this megalomaniac in him before elevating him to the position of COAS? One can only sing:Tareef karron kya unki jisne usse banaya!
DEAR EDITROR, CINSIDERING THE LAST DAYS OF vk sIGH IT CAN BE SEEN AS HE AS HUMAN BEING WAS UPSET DUE TO COURT DECISION AND WAS WITH DISTRESSED MIND HENCE CAN NOT ACT WITH A RIGHT APPRCH HENCE HIS DECISION CAN BE REVIEWED DATED mONDAY sPT 19TJH2012 tIME -455hRS IST