The Lucknow regional bench of the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) has recalled its 2012 order in a case leading to the promotion of a senior Army officer to the rank of a Major General, observing that every system of the country has been affected by corruption.
“We feel that corruption has crept in every system of the country and pray to the almighty to impart justice and help the country to recognise merit of the persons serving the nation instead of extraneous considerations,” the bench said.
It also imposed a fine of Rs 25,000 on respondent senior army officer Major General N K Mehta and said the amount should be remitted to the AFT Bar Association.
“There appears to be concealment of material facts. Respondent number one N K Mehta, (now Maj General), prima facie, seems to be not eligible for promotion even to the rank of Major General. We direct the respondents (Union of India, the Chief of the Army Staff and others) to maintain status quo ante forthwith,” it said.
A division bench of judicial member Justice Devi Prasad Singh and administrative member Air Marshal Anil Chopra passed the order on February 17, while allowing the review application of Major General R S Rathore filed through his counsel S S Rajawat for reviewing the order issued on October 30, 2012.
The AFT said from material on record, it seems to be a case of commission of fraud and respondents have failed to place correct material before the Tribunal for the reason best known to them. Process of law seems to have been abused for extraneous reasons.
It further said that at the face of record, the applicant committed not only substantial illegality but tried to obtain an order from the Tribunal without impleading the applicant (of review application) who seems to be a necessary party.
“Since the order seems to be outcome of fraud (concealment of material facts), it is liable to be recalled in view of settled proportion of law and may not stand even for a moment, causing miscarriage of justice.
“All the subsequent order, decision or action shall stand vitiated resulting in restoration of status quo ante with regard to appointments, selection or promotion done in pursuance of impugned order of this tribunal,” the AFT observed.
The Bench has called for a final hearing on the matter on March 30.
It also directed to send a copy of the order to secretary, Ministry of Defence, New Delhi and Chief of the Army Staff for compliance and necessary action.
( Source – PTI )