Former Army chief General V K Singh faces apex court action

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by Ray, Oct 2, 2013.

  1. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Former Army chief General V K Singh faces apex court action

    NEW DELHI: Beleaguered former Army chief General V K Singh, who opened a Pandora's box by alleging funding of J&K ministers by the Army, will now endure the rigours of possible contempt proceedings as the Supreme Court has taken suo motu note of his barbs against its judgment on his age row.

    While defending his statement and giving explanation through TV channels on the manner of funding of J&K ministers by the Army, Gen Singh had also criticized at the Supreme Court's February 10, 2012 judgment rejecting his petition seeking alteration of his date of birth from May 10, 1950 to May 10, 1951.

    The SC's refusal to entertain his petition had forced Gen Singh to withdraw his plea and retire from service.

    A bench of Justices R M Lodha and H L Gokhale on Tuesday will hear a suo motu contempt case for the alleged remarks made by Gen Singh as reported in a newspaper on September 22. The news report was titled 'V K Singh says Omar has an agenda; attacks SC's decision on his age row'.

    Former Army chief General V K Singh faces apex court action - The Times of India

    *****************************************

    More trouble for Gen VK Singh.
     
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  3. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Supreme Court issues contempt notice to former Army chief VK Singh

    NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued a criminal contempt notice to former Army chief Gen VK Singh.

    The apex court has pulled up the former Army chief for his remark against the court on the way it handled his petition on age row.

    The court said the remark was contemptuous.

    Prima facie Singh's statement undermines authority of the court and scandalises its proceedings, the court observed.

    The top court has directed VK Singh to file his response by October 23 on why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against him.

    Supreme Court issues contempt notice to former Army chief VK Singh - The Times of India

    ************************************************

    While contempt maybe as per law, but, without prejudice, one can wonder if the Supreme Court should explain how it handled the issue.

    Prima facie, if it was all about the DOB, then there is no doubt that his contention of the correctness of his DOB cannot be refuted.

    So, on what was based the verdict?
     
  4. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Contempt of court – Thesis coming soon

    Many of you may or may not be aware that the Law Commission in England and Wales has been carrying out a review of the laws of contempt of court, a project / theme for them that is currently ongoing. Of course I will be very interested to read their findings in the future, however for the time being I am more concerned with my own review of the law in this area, a review I have been carrying out for nearly six years. I am now in the home straight, completing the final drafts in the final chapters of my Phd thesis, and wanted to provide a Foreword to it here, a summary or an abstract if you like.

    As a starting point there is the title of the offence itself: Contempt of court… what images does this conjure up in your mind? What does the offence make you think of? Common themes might be an unruly witness or member of the public being dragged from the courtroom after shouting abuse at some other individual in the court or the judge himself. They meet with the wrath of the judge, who being annoyed at their conduct holds them in his contempt. The problem here, is that this commonly dramatised scenario simply serves to perpetuate the myth, the misonception of what exactly contempt of court is.

    This is not even a contemporary issue alone, the issues over the term ‘contempt of court’ itself, and the attached misconceptions were recognised exactly 90 years ago, in 1923 in the case of Johnson v Grant (1923 SLT 501) by Lord President James Avon Clyde when he stated;

    “The currency of the phrase…” (the name itself)”… is particularly regrettable…. It is not the dignity of the court which is offended – a petty and misleading view of the issue involved – it is the fundamental supremacy of the law which is challenged”

    Clyde in the same case then provided a working definition of the offence, and it is still this definition after looking at hundreds of texts and cases that I deem to be most appropriate. This definition reads:

    “The offence consists in interfering with the administration of the law; in impeding and perverting the course of justice.”

    So as can be seen, the dignity of the court or judge himself is not relevant in the offence, it is the process of law, the process of justice being seriously impeded in some way that is the fundamental issue that forms the foundation of the offence. And yet…. and yet….

    As mentioned, I have reviewed hundreds of texts and cases over a number of years in preparing my thesis and conclusions, and it is clear to see that in spite of the clear, concise and logical dicta from Lord President Clyde 90 years ago, that a great many legal professionals are still getting it wrong. I have discovered textbooks giving incorrect definitions and inappropriate examples, Judges incorrectly applying the law, and in general a lack of coherence and consistency across the board within the legal sphere whether in academia or in practice. This is something that must stop.

    I have witnessed first hand the criminal justice system in Scotland when visiting multiple courts and observing many cases ranging from simple custody cases, to pre-trial hearings, all the way to High Court cases. It seems from these observations that on the whole contempt of court is being used as a threat rather than an offence in its own right. So even when individuals engage in a course of action that would match the necessary criteria to be classed as contempt of court, the offence is mooted, yet not actually followed through. In the age of budgetary constrictions and resource issues, when cases are constantly being deserted due to not reaching court in time and extensions to the time bar being exhausted and subsequent applications for extension refused, surely contempt of court should be treated more seriously to nip offences of this nature in the bud? We are talking about offences such as witness prevarication, witnesses not appearing when cited, disrupting the court etc.

    On the other hand, what about those individuals who do find themselves in the situation where they may be held in contempt? Have they fully understood the potential consequences of their actions? Did they have any awareness that what they did (whatever it was) might have constituted an offence? One of the reasons that children below the age of 12 are not prosecuted in Scotland is that they cannot have mens rea – i.e. they cannot have a guilty mind, for various reasons, one of which is the lack of ability to foresee consequences. Another is the lack of capacity to understand the proceedings before them. But does this just apply to children? What about individuals with low general intelligence? Can they truly be said to be understanding the full intricacies of courtroom procedure and the justice process? Even with explanation from their legal counsel this could be problematic.

    Going a step further, foreign nationals in court is an issue that has recently been discussed in the media with the two young ladies accused of being drug mules in Peru. Of course Peru’s justice system and court procedure is different to our own, will the girls know what is going on? Will this be taken into account? Many will bring out the old phrase ‘ignorantia juris neminem excusat’ – ignorance of the law is no excuse. But is this phrase even appropriate any more? In an age where there are literally thousands of statutes, combined with common law, not to mentione EU and other international obligations, how can any individual be truly certain that whatever they do in their daily life, whether civil or criminal might or might not constitute an offence? We already readily admit this within our courts, although coming from a different angle. Whereas our judges apply the law as they deem it appropriate, there are certain areas that our courts stray away from – foreign law when it is raised as an issue. Judicial knowledge held by the judge is deemed to include Scottish law, English law and EU law. Anything beyond that, it is deemed that our judges cannot apply as they cannot be expected to know every law from every jurisdiction. Taking this down a level, how can any ordinary individual be expected to know every law from our own land? It is an excellent ideal, but not a realistic one. So foreign nationals in our own courts, should there be any special dispensation? This is examined in detail.

    And then there is general courtroom environment and behaviour. If the product of the court procedure is that an individual potentially finds themself in contempt, is this truly fair? To illustrate, Gerard O’Donovan summarised these issues in his article ‘Courtroom Appearance’ in 2005 where he stated:

    “The courtroom environment is adversarial, and it is therefore highly charged…. It can be intimidating and potentially sabotaging.” O’Donovan goes on to say that “Courtroom behaviour… seeks to inflame emotions”.

    So when the artificially created environment itself creates the atmosphere, and the professionals within it engage in behaviour that has the potential to lead to outbursts and the like, many of which could be regarded as contempt of court depending on the nature of the outburst, thus potentially making those legal professionals at least partly responsible and certainly morally culpable, is it tuly fair to then bring out the contempt ‘stick’ to beat the offender with?

    I am not giving all of the answers here, merely posing the questions. The answers will be contained within my forthcoming thesis, along with many other linked isses not raised in this short introduction to my topic. Hopefully for anyone reading, this has been of some interest, and perhaps made you think about the offence in a different light.

    Contempt of court – Thesis coming soon | Allan T Moore - Thoughts on Law and Education

    *************************

    Food for thought.
     
  5. parijataka

    parijataka Senior Member Senior Member

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    @Ray sir, AFAIK the General had said something like random criminals' date of birth from School leaving certificates is taken as proof to prove their `juvenile` status whereas the same rule is not applied to Army man.

    I agree with the General.
     
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  6. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    How is it a contempt of court?

    It is a genuine doubt that not only he has, I think any sane person will have.

    After all, everyone would like some baseline for judgement.

    It cannot be fickle as the wind.

    It is just what the article I appended in the earlier post, Contempt of court – Thesis coming soon where it also states that 'potentially making those legal professionals at least partly responsible and certainly morally culpable, is it tuly fair to then bring out the contempt ‘stick’ to beat the offender with?'
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
  7. Decklander

    Decklander New Member

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    In 2008 when Gen V K Singh gave in writing that he will accept the decision taken by MOD ragarding his DOB, he probably had it in mind that MOD will go by law declared i.e MOD will go by the SC rulings regarding issues of DOB. However to his shock, MOD decided to have their own interpretation and went against the earlier SC rulings in such cases. When Gen VK Singh went to court against GOI, the SC erred when they forced Gen VK Singh to accept what he gave in writing in 2008. This clearly shows that SC bench was acting according to a brief given to them by law ministry. Why did they not question MOD as on what basis they decided to overlook law declared in deciding the DOB of the Gen.IMHO SC shud be taken to jail for abuse of its position and authority but as they say who will complain against God and to whom? But do these judges desrve to be addressed as lords or do they deserve to be called devils?
     
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  8. sayareakd

    sayareakd Moderator Moderator

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    be careful or you will yourself get into contempt.
     
  9. Decklander

    Decklander New Member

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    Since you are a lawyer, you can probably explain as to why criticising court rulings called contempt of court when we have right to speach and we can criticise our parliament and govt but not judges while they are public servants. Lastly what constitutes contempt of court? is it defined anywhere in detail

    The essence of contempt of court is that the misconduct impairs the fair and efficient administration of justice. Contempt statutes generally require that the actions present a Clear and Present Danger that threatens the administration of justice.

    http://mha.nic.in/pdfs/Contempt_Of_Courts_Act1971.pdf

    Fair criticism of judicial act not contempt.
    5. Fair criticism of judicial act not contempt.A person shall
    not be guilty of contempt of court for publishing any fair comment on
    the merits of any case which has been heard and finally decided.

    If we go by the definition of contempt of court than probably there is no case against Gen VK Singh as both the cases have been heard and disposed off. (i.e His and that of Juvenile)
     
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  10. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    Is there a Gen V K Singh legal fund? There should be.
     
  11. Decklander

    Decklander New Member

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    Best thing to do will be to organise an ex-servicemen rally with placards denouncing SC conduct in that case and go to SC on 23rd Oct in this rally. Let us see SC throwing all these ex-servicemen in jail for contempt of court.
     
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  12. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    General VK Singh’s case: It is time the country stood up to truth
    V Mahalingam
    01 October 2013, 12:19 PM IST

    If the report of the Board of Officers submitted by General Bhatia had indicted General VK Singh or any other officer relating to the working of the Technical Support Division (TSD), the proper course would have been to go in for disciplinary proceedings either through the Court Marshal route or the Courts in accordance with the laws of the land. The entire case would have been brought to a logical conclusion without muck being thrown around. Or else the government ought to have come clean on the entire issue.

    Instead, the government, or one of the senior officers within the government, chose to leak the whole or a part of the report to a particular newspaper to mislead the people, tarnish the General’s image by projecting him as an individual subverting democracy and bribing an NGO to alter the line of succession in the Army. How an NGO can alter the line of succession defies my understanding. Or, are we doubting the integrity of the J&K High Court which is currently engaged in hearing the case of a 70-year-old man who was branded a foreign terrorist and killed in an encounter? Is it not the court which is responsible for declaring the officer concerned guilty or not? Incidentally, at least while I was in service, there was nothing called a ‘line of succession’ in the army. If something of that nature has since been invented, it goes against the principle of natural justice and fair play in the system of promotions in the army. By the way, I had put the blame on senior officers for the leak, as, such classified reports are handled by officers not below the rank of joint secretaries in the government and the blame for the leak should not be allowed to be shifted to some junior ranking officer in the Ministry of Defence (MOD) to further confuse the issue.

    When the report appeared in the newspaper, the Government ought to have reacted immediately to set the record straight. The damage could have been contained then and there. Instead it kept quiet. Why? Was the government a party to the leak or were the leak and the blame game played out for some ulterior motive? This is not the first time that a classified document has been leaked. The top Secret letter addressed by General VK Singh in the capacity of the Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) appraising the Prime Minister about the state of the Indian Army was leaked in 2012. He was only doing his duty which is a customary practice in the Army and is regularly done by all the Army Chiefs. That leak was followed by a denunciation game again to malign the General. The General was condemned for the leak. We were told that the General had compromised National Security. Members of the Parliament, including Lalu Prasad Yadav who today heads for jail, not knowing the truth, demanded that the General be sacked. Subsequently a news report appeared that the report was leaked by a joint secretary level lady officer in the cabinet secretariat. Another media report stated that “the probe ordered by the PMO had cleared Gen. Singh of any wrongdoing in the episode,” The question is, what was the punishment meted out to the officer for leaking a top secret letter, an act of treason? The very procedure and sanctity attached to the production, accounting and safe custody of top secret documents in the Army is mind boggling to say the least. Losing or misplacing a top secret letter is a court martial offence. Why this double standards in dealing with offences?

    The very same newspaper published a coup story in Apr 2012 bringing out something which is alleged to have taken place in Jan 2012 attributing motives and blaming the General for it. Isn’t launching a coup against a democratically elected government treason? We were told that the matter will be investigated. Over 20 months has passed. What has happened to the investigations? If the General was guilty punish him. If not, by now the newspaper ought to have been taken to task and the people told of the facts. Admiral Ramdas, the former Naval Chief along with a host of other senior officers had written to the PM as far back as June 2012 asking him to seriously look into these leaks, but nothing was done.

    The sustained misinformation campaign to tarnish the image of General VK Singh conditioned the media to refer to the TSD as the ‘Rogue unit created by General VK Singh’. The fact is, neither the unit was a ‘rogue unit’ nor was it ‘created by General VK Singh’ The Indian Express article states that “instructions have been given that, henceforth, no special units, such as the TSD, are to be raised without authorization from the Ministry of Defence, giving an impression to the people of this country that the Unit was created by the General on his own without Government approval to give credence to the Coup story. The fact is the COAS of the Indian Army does not have the authority to authorize even a single man to any army unit’s strength even on war establishment leave alone creating a ‘rogue unit’. It has been reported in the media that this unit had an annual budget of 20 crores. The General has also gone on record stating that the quarterly accounts of the unit have been countersigned by him and the Defence Secretary. If these are true, this organization ought to have been raised with the approval of the Raksha Mantri (RM) and the National Security Advisor (NSA). If indeed the Unit was raised without the knowledge of these representing the Government, the concerned should come up and categorically state so. If not, one cannot but conclude that these personalities lack the moral courage needed to hold such high offices.

    One now hears that the TSD has been disbanded. Have we done the right thing? The reaction only exposes lack of strategic understanding of the realities in our borders and the need for keeping various options open to counter threats to our people and national integrity.

    Now about the ‘Rogue’ issue of the TSD. The General has categorically stated that this unit was based on ‘human intelligence’. Obviously then, the TSD is unlikely to have had the ‘Off the air interceptors” in its inventory. How then could the unit have snooped on the political class in Delhi or on the chief minister of J&K? Isn’t this a serious matter? This fact doesn’t require more than two hours to verify and the air could have been cleared by the MOD and the General could have been saved the harassment and agony of going through false allegations and the vilification campaigns.

    Another story titled “V.K. Singh counters charges, admits ‘pro-India NGOs’ were funded” was published by ‘The Hindu’ on 24 Sep 2013. General VK Singh in his rejoinder published in ‘Outlook’ has stated that he was waylaid by the reporter at a friend’s place and at her insistence had answered a few questions thereby implying that he had not given any formal interview to the newspaper. He has gone on to state that half-truths and distortions were deliberately inserted in the news story published by the newspaper.

    The Hindu story quotes the General as saying that “the panchayat elections of 2011 and the sudden end to the stone-throwing agitation in Kashmir in 2010” were the two major achievements of the TSD. Does the author imply that Rs 1.19 crores had been allegedly given to the minister to manipulate the panchayat elections thereby implying that he was thus attempting to topple the government? In J&K no action of the Army can ever go unnoticed. The local press is very vibrant. Despite this fact, till date no civilian or newspaper has complained about any manipulation in the panchayat elections conducted in 2011 either by the Army or General VK Singh. The government in power has not complained. The opposition has not said a word about it. Why has this story then been concocted? Rs 1.19 crores, the alleged money involved works out to Rs 360 per individual in a state where there are 33000 panchs and sarpanchs!! Obviously the fiction creators have no clue of what it means to topple a state government. Does this not question his integrity and loyalty to the elected Government and damage his reputation as a soldier? Incidentally, if TSD could end stone throwing in J&K as alleged, we might as well go in for many more TSDs consisting of an handful of people and an expenditure of just Rs 1 crore!!!

    Till today not a word has been said about the investigations or its findings on various allegations made against the General which include the Military Intelligence (MI) planting a bug in the office of the RM, snooping on the MOD officials and the political class by the TSD, leak of Top Secret letter addressed to the PM by the Chief, the General’s refusal to sign the bulk Tatra truck order, the bribe offer story, the coup story and the likes. If these allegations were indeed true, the General ought to have been punished by now or the people ought to have been told the truth categorically so that the doubts in the minds of the nation are set to rest.

    Considering the suspicion that the media reports and the leaks have created in the minds of the people, it is time the RM spoke about it and cleared the air. He cannot continue to remain silent and be the instrument for planting doubts in the minds of the people including the Army and its soldiers. If in doubt, the entire matter covering all the allegations made against the General should be investigated duly supervised by the Supreme Court lest the evidences, witnesses and the truths are manipulated.

    The blog post will be incomplete without the people being told a few things about the working of the Army. In the Army, no one waits for written orders. A telephonic message is taken as an order and acted upon. That is the reason one sees the Army formations moving out within hours of an incident including in aid to civil authorities or relief operations. Every resource within one’s control at every level is utilized when it comes to matters relating to intelligence, operations, maintaining the level of violence at an acceptable level, protecting the lives of the civil population and maintaining good relations with the local population. This happens both in insurgency affected areas and in other operational areas. Audits, financial sanctions, approvals and such niceties are ignored when speed and results are the aims. Even in major operations, attacks are launched and withdrawals effected based on verbal orders.

    If actions initiated by people in national interests are handled in this manner and individuals hounded to suit partisan interests will commanders at various levels provide rations, military equipment, troop labor, canteen stores etc. in a situation like flood relief? Incidentally, the Army was told that utilizing a soldier for managing a unit run canteen is misuse of manpower. If that is so, how are troops being used to develop or repair roads and tracks in insurgency and operational areas? How are units utilizing troop’s rations to feed civilians in an emergency or provide refreshments to them in certain circumstances? If that faith between the government and the Army is lost will not every army officer at his own level demand that instructions be issued in writing for everything that one is required to do? Does the country want that to happen? If those in power cannot come up and hold the hands of their Chief when he is being blamed and hounded for creating a ‘rogue unit’ do people understand the effect of such an attitude on troops and junior commanders? The question is why should anyone in uniform take a risk by exposing himself to post audit, scrutiny and become a scape goat for someone else’s follies or ulterior motives?


    ---------- Forwarded message ----------

    Subject: General VK Singh’s case: It is time the country stood up to truth
    To:
    Cc:

    General VK Singh’s case: It is time the country stood up to truth
    V Mahalingam
    01 October 2013, 12:19 PM IST

    If the report of the Board of Officers submitted by General Bhatia had indicted General VK Singh or any other officer relating to the working of the Technical Support Division (TSD), the proper course would have been to go in for disciplinary proceedings either through the Court Marshal route or the Courts in accordance with the laws of the land. The entire case would have been brought to a logical conclusion without muck being thrown around. Or else the government ought to have come clean on the entire issue.

    Instead, the government, or one of the senior officers within the government, chose to leak the whole or a part of the report to a particular newspaper to mislead the people, tarnish the General’s image by projecting him as an individual subverting democracy and bribing an NGO to alter the line of succession in the Army. How an NGO can alter the line of succession defies my understanding. Or, are we doubting the integrity of the J&K High Court which is currently engaged in hearing the case of a 70-year-old man who was branded a foreign terrorist and killed in an encounter? Is it not the court which is responsible for declaring the officer concerned guilty or not? Incidentally, at least while I was in service, there was nothing called a ‘line of succession’ in the army. If something of that nature has since been invented, it goes against the principle of natural justice and fair play in the system of promotions in the army. By the way, I had put the blame on senior officers for the leak, as, such classified reports are handled by officers not below the rank of joint secretaries in the government and the blame for the leak should not be allowed to be shifted to some junior ranking officer in the Ministry of Defence (MOD) to further confuse the issue.

    When the report appeared in the newspaper, the Government ought to have reacted immediately to set the record straight. The damage could have been contained then and there. Instead it kept quiet. Why? Was the government a party to the leak or were the leak and the blame game played out for some ulterior motive? This is not the first time that a classified document has been leaked. The top Secret letter addressed by General VK Singh in the capacity of the Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) appraising the Prime Minister about the state of the Indian Army was leaked in 2012. He was only doing his duty which is a customary practice in the Army and is regularly done by all the Army Chiefs. That leak was followed by a denunciation game again to malign the General. The General was condemned for the leak. We were told that the General had compromised National Security. Members of the Parliament, including Lalu Prasad Yadav who today heads for jail, not knowing the truth, demanded that the General be sacked. Subsequently a news report appeared that the report was leaked by a joint secretary level lady officer in the cabinet secretariat. Another media report stated that “the probe ordered by the PMO had cleared Gen. Singh of any wrongdoing in the episode,” The question is, what was the punishment meted out to the officer for leaking a top secret letter, an act of treason? The very procedure and sanctity attached to the production, accounting and safe custody of top secret documents in the Army is mind boggling to say the least. Losing or misplacing a top secret letter is a court martial offence. Why this double standards in dealing with offences?

    The very same newspaper published a coup story in Apr 2012 bringing out something which is alleged to have taken place in Jan 2012 attributing motives and blaming the General for it. Isn’t launching a coup against a democratically elected government treason? We were told that the matter will be investigated. Over 20 months has passed. What has happened to the investigations? If the General was guilty punish him. If not, by now the newspaper ought to have been taken to task and the people told of the facts. Admiral Ramdas, the former Naval Chief along with a host of other senior officers had written to the PM as far back as June 2012 asking him to seriously look into these leaks, but nothing was done.

    The sustained misinformation campaign to tarnish the image of General VK Singh conditioned the media to refer to the TSD as the ‘Rogue unit created by General VK Singh’. The fact is, neither the unit was a ‘rogue unit’ nor was it ‘created by General VK Singh’ The Indian Express article states that “instructions have been given that, henceforth, no special units, such as the TSD, are to be raised without authorization from the Ministry of Defence, giving an impression to the people of this country that the Unit was created by the General on his own without Government approval to give credence to the Coup story. The fact is the COAS of the Indian Army does not have the authority to authorize even a single man to any army unit’s strength even on war establishment leave alone creating a ‘rogue unit’. It has been reported in the media that this unit had an annual budget of 20 crores. The General has also gone on record stating that the quarterly accounts of the unit have been countersigned by him and the Defence Secretary. If these are true, this organization ought to have been raised with the approval of the Raksha Mantri (RM) and the National Security Advisor (NSA). If indeed the Unit was raised without the knowledge of these representing the Government, the concerned should come up and categorically state so. If not, one cannot but conclude that these personalities lack the moral courage needed to hold such high offices.

    One now hears that the TSD has been disbanded. Have we done the right thing? The reaction only exposes lack of strategic understanding of the realities in our borders and the need for keeping various options open to counter threats to our people and national integrity.

    Now about the ‘Rogue’ issue of the TSD. The General has categorically stated that this unit was based on ‘human intelligence’. Obviously then, the TSD is unlikely to have had the ‘Off the air interceptors” in its inventory. How then could the unit have snooped on the political class in Delhi or on the chief minister of J&K? Isn’t this a serious matter? This fact doesn’t require more than two hours to verify and the air could have been cleared by the MOD and the General could have been saved the harassment and agony of going through false allegations and the vilification campaigns.

    Another story titled “V.K. Singh counters charges, admits ‘pro-India NGOs’ were funded” was published by ‘The Hindu’ on 24 Sep 2013. General VK Singh in his rejoinder published in ‘Outlook’ has stated that he was waylaid by the reporter at a friend’s place and at her insistence had answered a few questions thereby implying that he had not given any formal interview to the newspaper. He has gone on to state that half-truths and distortions were deliberately inserted in the news story published by the newspaper.

    The Hindu story quotes the General as saying that “the panchayat elections of 2011 and the sudden end to the stone-throwing agitation in Kashmir in 2010” were the two major achievements of the TSD. Does the author imply that Rs 1.19 crores had been allegedly given to the minister to manipulate the panchayat elections thereby implying that he was thus attempting to topple the government? In J&K no action of the Army can ever go unnoticed. The local press is very vibrant. Despite this fact, till date no civilian or newspaper has complained about any manipulation in the panchayat elections conducted in 2011 either by the Army or General VK Singh. The government in power has not complained. The opposition has not said a word about it. Why has this story then been concocted? Rs 1.19 crores, the alleged money involved works out to Rs 360 per individual in a state where there are 33000 panchs and sarpanchs!! Obviously the fiction creators have no clue of what it means to topple a state government. Does this not question his integrity and loyalty to the elected Government and damage his reputation as a soldier? Incidentally, if TSD could end stone throwing in J&K as alleged, we might as well go in for many more TSDs consisting of an handful of people and an expenditure of just Rs 1 crore!!!

    Till today not a word has been said about the investigations or its findings on various allegations made against the General which include the Military Intelligence (MI) planting a bug in the office of the RM, snooping on the MOD officials and the political class by the TSD, leak of Top Secret letter addressed to the PM by the Chief, the General’s refusal to sign the bulk Tatra truck order, the bribe offer story, the coup story and the likes. If these allegations were indeed true, the General ought to have been punished by now or the people ought to have been told the truth categorically so that the doubts in the minds of the nation are set to rest.

    Considering the suspicion that the media reports and the leaks have created in the minds of the people, it is time the RM spoke about it and cleared the air. He cannot continue to remain silent and be the instrument for planting doubts in the minds of the people including the Army and its soldiers. If in doubt, the entire matter covering all the allegations made against the General should be investigated duly supervised by the Supreme Court lest the evidences, witnesses and the truths are manipulated.

    The blog post will be incomplete without the people being told a few things about the working of the Army. In the Army, no one waits for written orders. A telephonic message is taken as an order and acted upon. That is the reason one sees the Army formations moving out within hours of an incident including in aid to civil authorities or relief operations. Every resource within one’s control at every level is utilized when it comes to matters relating to intelligence, operations, maintaining the level of violence at an acceptable level, protecting the lives of the civil population and maintaining good relations with the local population. This happens both in insurgency affected areas and in other operational areas. Audits, financial sanctions, approvals and such niceties are ignored when speed and results are the aims. Even in major operations, attacks are launched and withdrawals effected based on verbal orders.

    If actions initiated by people in national interests are handled in this manner and individuals hounded to suit partisan interests will commanders at various levels provide rations, military equipment, troop labor, canteen stores etc. in a situation like flood relief? Incidentally, the Army was told that utilizing a soldier for managing a unit run canteen is misuse of manpower. If that is so, how are troops being used to develop or repair roads and tracks in insurgency and operational areas? How are units utilizing troop’s rations to feed civilians in an emergency or provide refreshments to them in certain circumstances? If that faith between the government and the Army is lost will not every army officer at his own level demand that instructions be issued in writing for everything that one is required to do? Does the country want that to happen? If those in power cannot come up and hold the hands of their Chief when he is being blamed and hounded for creating a ‘rogue unit’ do people understand the effect of such an attitude on troops and junior commanders? The question is why should anyone in uniform take a risk by exposing himself to post audit, scrutiny and become a scape goat for someone else’s follies or ulterior motives?
     
  13. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Read the article on Contempt of Court?

    If facts are given, which are irrefutable, does it mean Contempt of Court?

    Please note that it is imperative that it should be acceptable that it is essential to potentially making those legal professionals at least partly responsible and certainly morally culpable. Is it truly fair to then bring out the contempt ‘stick’ to beat the offender with?'

    Would any sane person not wonder how a legal DOB double proved is not acceptable, but that of a horrid, psychopath of a rapist, accepted being a juvenile, based on his school certificate, which given the way the country is being run can always be manipulated?

    Is being confused as to how the law is being applied, a contempt of court?

    Does it mean that we "go with the wind" as so wisely advised by Lodha and damn our confusion and take that Lodha is in direct communication with God?
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2013
  14. NSG_Blackcats

    NSG_Blackcats Member of The Month OCTOBER 2009 Senior Member

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    Sir,

    There is a youtube video of Chandan Mitra where he was intreactiing with Madhu Trehan in News Lundry. Please watch that. Chandan Mitra is one of those journalist who has gone through many contempt of court notice by the Apex Court. He refused to appolise and was ready to face jail. Arun Jiately and Ram Jethmalani were defending him in many cases.

    So this contempt of court is nothing new.
     
  15. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Could you give the links?
     
  16. NSG_Blackcats

    NSG_Blackcats Member of The Month OCTOBER 2009 Senior Member

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    Ray likes this.

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