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Two promotions of a sitting lieutenant general of the Army has been quashed by the Delhi High Court, terming them  “illegal,” and relegated him to a lower rank of brigadier.

A bench of Justices Gita Mittal and J R Midha quashed the promotions given to Lt Gen S S Thakral, a 1974 batch officer, in 2009 and 2011 saying the Staff Selection Board exercised its powers in “bad faith” and without following established procedures.

According to the bench, “The established and undisputed facts which preceded the orders appointing respondent No 5 (Thakral), first as major general and then as lieutenant general, manifest the bad faith in the exercise of the power to effect the said appointments of respondent no 5. The respondents have ignored several relevant factors, which failure has offended against procedural propriety, making their decision in proceeding with the selections perverse and irrational, a facet of unreasonableness. They have, therefore, failed to comply with prescribed procedure, acted arbitrarily and abused discretionary powers.”

The court quashed the proceedings and results of the selection boards held on August 12, 2009, and August 18, 2011, promoting Thakral to the ranks of Major General and Lt General respectively, in Remount Veterinary Corps (RVC) of the Army.

The decision came on the plea of Maj Gen Shrikant Sharma, a 1976 batch officer, alleging the selection boards had shown “undue haste” and “bias” in promoting Thakral.

Thakral is currently the Director-General, Remount Veterinary Services (DG-RVS) of the Army, a position he had taken over after his promotion to rank of Lt Gen Sharma had alleged his promotions got affected due to “illegal” decisions of the selection boards to promote Thakral as a stand alone candidate.

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