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PIL petition challenging Army Chief appointment

PIL petition challenging Army Chief appointment

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Published by Shiv Aroor
Public Interest Litigation challenging the appointment of Lt Gen Bikram Singh as Chief of Army Staff.
Public Interest Litigation challenging the appointment of Lt Gen Bikram Singh as Chief of Army Staff.

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Published by: Shiv Aroor on Apr 23, 2012
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05/29/2012

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IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIACRIMINAL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION
WRIT PETITION (C) NO._______ OF 2012
(UNDER ARTICLE 32 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA)
IN THE MATTER OF: 
1.Admiral (Retd.) LaxminarayanRamdasS/o. Late C K LaxminarayanLara-Ramu FarmAlibag,Maharashtra- 402209 2.M.G. DevasahayamR/o 103, Ceebros Bayview,4
th
Seaward Raod,Valmikinagar,Tiruvanmiyur,Chennai - 600041 3.Maj. Gen. A.K. VermaR/o 1322, Arun Vihar Sector – 37, Noida, U.P. 4.N. GopalaswamiFormer CEC,Flat No. 5, Leo Madhuram,39, Giri RoadT. Nagar,CHENNAI - 600017 5.Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Onkar Singh LohchabS/o Shri C.R, LohachabR/o G-159, Palam Vihar,Gurgaon,Haryana 6.Lt. Gen. P.C. Katoch (Retd.)R/o 404-B,Hamiltion Court,DLF Phase 4,DLF City,Gurgaon – 122009,Haryana 7.Sam RajappaS/o Late Shri M.B. SamuelR/o 23, Coconut GrooveJansi Nagar,12, Street, VelacheryChennai - 600042…Petitioners
VERSUS
Union of IndiaThrough its Ministry of DefenceSouth Block, New Delhi-110011…Respondent 
WRIT PETITION UNDER ARTICLE 32 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA, IN THEPUBLIC INTEREST, BY RETIRED SERVICE OFFICERS, CIVIL SERVANTS, ANDCONCERNED CITIZENS; SEEKING TO QUASH THE RECOMMENDATION MADE BYTHE APPOINTMENT COMMITTEE CONSTITUTED UNDER THE GOVERNMENT OFINDIA (ALLOCATION OF BUSINESS) RULES, 1961, RECOMMENDING SINCE THE SAMEIS VIOLATIVE OF FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS GUARANTEED UNDER ARTICLE 14, 15 &16 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA, 1950.
To,The Hon’ble Chief Justice of Indiaand his Companion Justices of theSupreme Court of India New Delhi. 
 
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The Humble petition of the Petitioner above named: 
MOST RESPECTFULLY SHOWETH
1.The Present Writ Petition Under Article 32 of the Constitution of India, in the Public Interest, by retired Service Officers, Civil Servants, and Concerned Citizens; is being filed under the prevailingextraordinary circumstances is seeking quashing of the Recommendation made by the AppointmentCommittee constituted under the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961, for theAppointment of Lt. Gen. Bikram Singh as next Chief of Army Staff. This has been done primarily to protect the Institutional integrity of the Indian Armed Forces which has today become an unfortunatevictim of blatant manipulation by people in power without any care or concern to the irreparable severedamage to the important and highly regarded institution which has always been known for itsdiscipline. These vested interests have taken it upon themselves to impose so called “Line of Succession” in the Indian Army regardless of what the established Law of the Land lays down.1A.The Petitioner No. 1, Admiral (Retd.) Laxminarayan Ramdas, Commissioned in the Indian Navy on September 1, 1953, served as Chief of Naval Staff of the Indian navy taking from November 30, 1990 to 23, September, 1993. He has been awarded during his tenure in Indian Navy, Vir Chakra,Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal and the Vishisht Seva Medal. Post retirement, hewas awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Awards for peace in 2004 for his efforts in trying to demilitariseand denuclearize South Asia. He is trained as a communication specialist in the Royal Naval Staff College in the UnitedKingdom, he then went on to establish and head the Naval Academy in Kochi, Kerala. One of his major accomplishments is the reconnaissance and interdiction of enemy vessels and bombing of East Pakistanduring the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war. During 1971 Operations while in command of INS Beas Admiral Ramdas took part in themost effective Naval Blockade of East Pakistan which frustrated the Pakistans attempt to evacuate91,000 of their troops who eventually surrendered to the Indian Forces, and captured a large number of ships carrying contraband to that country, bombarded Cox Bazar and took part in the landing and other operations in an area infested with enemy mines and under-water threats. For his resolute, bold, gallantand imaginative action in the face of great danger Admiral Ramdas was decorated with the Vir Chakra,he latter commanded one of the most modern Patrol Vessel Squadron of the Indian Navy. He served as Naval Attache in Germany for 3 years. He held the appointments of Director of Personnel, Director of Naval Signals and Director of Naval Operations at the Naval Headquarters.Other notable appointments he held were Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Operations), Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet, Controller of Warship Production and Acquisition, Deputy Chief of NavalStaff and Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Southern Naval Command. Prior to his Taking over as Chief of the Naval Staff in November 1990, he was the FlagOfficer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command which appointment he held since Feb 1989.A distinguished sportsman, an enthusiast of sailing and adventure activities, he promoted sports andadventure activities in the Navy to a great extent.Petitioner No. 2, M.G. Devasahayam, is a soldier cum administrator with a longcareer spanning over 45 years, with experience in the working and ethos of Indian Army, IndianAdministrative Service, Government and Non-Government Organisations. He entered Indian Army as aCommissioned Officer (Infantry, The Madras Regiment) in 1964. During Army service he participatedin the Indo-Pak War (1965) and counter-insurgency operations in Nagaland (1967-68). He is therecipient of Samar Seva Star and General Service (Nagaland) medals. Moving to Government service (IAS-Haryana Cadre) in 1968, he has been the head of twoimportant Districts (Bhiwani and Chandigarh) and distinguished himself in the areas of Social Welfare,Urban Development and Public Utilities-Electricity and Transportation-Management. While atChandigarh he worked closely with Mother Teresa and was instrumental in the setting up of the ‘Homefor orphans, abandoned infants, dying destitutes and mentally retarded’ [Shanti-Dan] at the heart of Chandigarh and a sancturary for lepers at the City’s outskirts. He was also closely associated with Lok  Nayak Jayaprakash Narayan.Mr. Devasahayam is a prolific writer with published articles in many Newspapers, magazinesand journals and has authored three Books - ‘India’s Second Freedom-An Untold Saga’; ‘JP in Jail-anuncensored account’ and 'JP Movement, Emergency and India's Second Freedom'Presently he is Member of National Working Committee of Gandhian Seva & SatyagrahaBrigade, New Delhi devoted to the cause of combating corruption. He is convener of the Chennai based Forum for Electoral Integrity and Forum for Integrity in Governance. He firmly believes thatInstitutional Integrity is at the core of honest governance, vibrant democracy and national security.Petitioner No. 3, Major General (Retd) Ashok Kalyan Verma, AVSM, was commissionedinto the RAJPUT Regiment in June 1956. He commanded the 18th Battalion during the 1971 War andwas ‘Mentioned-in-Despatches’ for his role in the Battle of Akhaura. Subsequently, he commanded aBrigade in Ladakh and the prestigious 26 Infantry Division in Jammu & Kashmir. Among his variousappointments he was staff officer in the Military Wing of the Cabinet Secretariat and Brigadier-in-charge Administration in Jalandhar during 1984-5. He was later DGOL in AHQ, Delhi and was anintegral part of the ‘Experts Committee’ that was constituted for the reorganization of the Indian Army. Besides having been on the teaching faculty of the Defence Services Staff College, he has
 
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also been the commander of the Higher Command Course at the College of Combat, Mhow and alsoSenior Directing Staff at the National Defence College, New Delhi. He was the Colonel of the RajputRegiment from 1986 until his retirement in 1991. He is the author of three books - Rivers of Silence (Lancer 1998), Kargil: Blood on the Snow(Manohar 2002) and The Bridge on the River Mehgna (Knowledge World/Centre for Land WarfareStudies 2009). Petitioner No. 4, N.Gopalaswami, is a former IAS Officer and Chief Election Commissioner of India (CEC). He has administrative experience in a career spanning 43 years both in the State and inthe Central Government. He joined Service in 1966 after a brilliant academic career culminating in his securing a Goldmedal in Chemistry in the Post Graduate course at the Delhi University in 1965. He served in the Stateof Gujarat for 25 years from 1967 to 1992 distinguishing himself in the area of Urban Development andPlanning, Land Tenures and Land Administration, Education, Police Administration and Managementof Electronic Industry. He moved to the Central Government in 1992 and was involved closely inElectronic and Software Industries' Promotion, and in the field of Education & Culture. He served asSecretary General in the National Human Rights Commission under 2 eminent former Chief Justicesof India, Justice M.N.Venkatachaliah and Justice J.S.Verma, implementing the policies of the NHRCin regard to Right to Life, Right to Health etc. He also served as Union Home Secretary before movingto the Election Commission. He was an Election Commissioner for 2 years and Chief ElectionCommissioner for 3 years during which time he executed many new innovations including the PhotoElectoral Rolls to curb bogus voting and impersonation in the elections. Post retirement, he is associated with the Consumer Association of India and the ConcertTrust both sister organisations based in Chennai, working in the area of consumer grievances,awareness and related issues. He is also Trustee in Catalyst Trust, involved in spreading awarenessof Citizen's rights and duties especially in the area of Elections and Local Self-Governance. He is amember of a Chennai based Forum for Electoral Integrity and Forum for Integrity in Governance .He also contributes to propagation of Samskrit as a Vice President of The Samskrit Promotion Boardheadquartered at Delhi, with Justice R.C.Lahoti as its President. He firmly believes in the rule of lawand that only integrity and transparency in Governance based on respect for Human Rights will securea robust democracy for all. Petitioner No. 5, Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Omkar Singh Lohchab, was Commissioned into the IndianArmy in 1963. He did his Staff College Course in Australia in 1977. He went on to Command 2 Bihar and also held instructional appointments at the Army College of Land Warfare in Mhow and theDefence Services Staff College in Wellington. He commanded 330 Infantry Brigade in the Desert andwas the General Officer Commanding both 14 and 4 Divisions.Among his other Appointments, he was GOC Bengal Area, Additional Director GeneralAdm & Coord, AHQ Delhi and MGGS Eastern Command. He retired in 2003 after serving as theDirector General Military Intelligence for three years. The General is an MsC in Defence studies. Post-retirement, he lives in Palam Vihar in Gurgaon. Petitioner No. 6, Lt. Gen. P.C. Katoch (Retd.), PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, SC,Superannuated as Director General Information Systems of Indian Army in 2009. He has participatedin the 1971 India-Pakistan War, commanded an independent para-commando company in Nagaland-Manipur, a Special Forces Battalion in Sri Lanka, a Brigade on Siachen Glacier, a Division in Ladakhand a Strike Corpus in South Western Theatre. He was part of the Indian Contingent participating in aninternational Sky Diving Competition in USSR in 1976. He has served as Defence Attache in Japanand Republic of Korea and has held numerous operational staff appointments. An MSc in DefenceStudies, he is Alumni of the National Defence College. Post retirement, he has authored over 120articles on military, security, topical and technical issues and is also online Senior Consulting Editor for SP Guide Publications. He is member of the USI of India Council and active Publications. He ismember of the USI of India Council and active participant in seminars at national and internationallevels. He chaired an International Leadership Seminar at Maldvies (2009), participated in the fourthround of Afghanistan India-Pakistan Trialogue at Kabul (2010) and has presented papers on Counter Terrorism at US Pacific Command, Hawaii (2011), on Maritime Security challenges at ChinaInternational Institute of Strategic Studies, Beijing (2011), on Political & Economic Frameworks inAsia Pacific during USI National Security Seminar (2011) and on regional Security Post Withdrawal of US & NATO Troops from Afghanistan during the Japan-US-India Trialogue (2011).Petitioner No. 7, Sam Rajappa is a senior journalist with over five decades experience inthe media. Sam started his career in journalism in 1960 as a sub-editor with the Free Press Journalin Bombay. In 1962 he joined The Statesman in New Delhi and later moved to Chennai. He wasassociated with the paper till 2008. In 1980, he took a year’s sabbatical from The Statesman to setup the South Indian network of India Today, and worked as their South India bureau chief based inBangalore. Again, he took a short break from the paper in 1996 to launch The Andhra Pradesh Times,an English daily published from Hyderabad, as its founder-editor. For about fifteen years, since1980,Sam was also the BBC’s South India correspondent. He was an adjunct faculty member of the Chennai- based Asian College of Journalism from 2001 to 2007. Till recently he was Director of The StatesmanPrint Journalism School, Kolkata.He is a prolific writer and has written editorials and articles on various subjects including politics, foreign policy, governance, armed forces and national security. He continues to contribute

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