The Delhi High Court has issued notice on a plea challenging a 2017 promotion policy of Indian Army excluding Intelligence Corps from being considered for promotion to the rank of Lt. General from the Non-General Cadre Staff Stream vacancies.
Justice Manmohan and Justice Navin Chawla sought response of the Centre through Ministry of Defence, Chief of Army Staff and the Military Secretary and granted four weeks' time to file counter affidavit in the matter.
The petition has been filed by Major General S.S. Khara, holding the designation of Additional Director General Military Intelligence (B) in the Indian Army through Advocates Neela Gokhale, Kushal Choudhary, Shradha Agrawal and Ilam Paridi.
The plea submits that the impugned promotion policy specifically entitles only the officers from the General Cadre and the officers of the Non-General Cadre hailing from the streams of Army, Engineers, Sigs, AAD, ASC, and EME to be eligible for promotion to the rank of Lt. General in the NGCSS vacancies.
In view of this, the petition submits that the Intelligence Corps are arbitrarily left out from the scope of promotion within the impugned policy of the Respondents without any justifiable or logical reason.
"The Army is a cohesive unit comprising of officers from all the arms and services within its organisation, who work like cogs in a clock, and interdependently discharge the function of defending our nation from external and internal threats, however, within the organisation wherein no one arm/service is greater than the other, the promotion policy in question specifically ostracises the Intelligence Corps from availing the vacancies provided in the NGCSS, which amounts to apparent discrimination of the Petitioner and his Corps," the plea reads.
Further submitting that the policy is discriminatory in nature and specifically ostracises and disentitles the Intelligence Corps Arm from the ambit of eligibility for even consideration for promotion, the plea avers that the policy infringes Article 14 and 16 of the Constitution of India.
Accordingly, the plea seeks quashing of the impugned promotion policy and prays for inclusion of Intelligence Corps to be considered for promotion in the NGCSS vacancies.
Direction is also sought upon the respondents to create special vacancy for the Intelligence Corps to compensate for the long injustice meted out to the them.
Individually, the petitioner also seeks his promotion to the rank of Lt. General against the special vacancy with restoration of 1985 seniority in Non-General Cadre Staff Stream.
CaseTitle: MAJ GENERAL S S KHARA v. UNION OF INDIA & ORS.