CHANDIGARH: The Armed Forces Tribunal today reserved its orders in the case of Maj Gen TS Handa, who has alleged a bias on the part of Gen VK Singh, first in his capacity as the Eastern Army Commander and later as Army Chief. He said the “bias” led to him not being empanelled for promotion to the rank of lieutenant general despite an outstanding career profile.
Maj Gen Handa had moved the Tribunal about seven months ago, stating that when he was posted as the General Officer Commanding of the 57 Mountain Division, the attitude of Gen Singh, then Eastern Army Commander and the senior reviewing officer of his annual confidential report (ACR), led to him being awarded a “displeasure” and a “lukewarm” ACR.
He contended that he was targeted because he had refused to change the date of birth of the Army Chief in official records while he was posted in the Military Secretary’s Branch at Army Headquarters prior to proceeding to the North-East.
During arguments, Central Government counsel Capt Sandeep Bansal averred that there were no specific allegations of bias in Handa’s petition and his contentions were his personal perceptions. While pointing out that the allegations were not levelled against the Army Chief in the non-statutory complaint, he said these were added as an after-thought to the statutory complaint filed with the Central Government.
While arguing that Handa’s challenging the order on his non-empanelment and the marks awarded in his ACR were barred by limitation, Bansal contended that ACRs assess performance during a specific period and past performance does not guarantee future good performance. He also added that as per records, all of Handa’s ACRs were above average.