Thursday, May 03, 2012

Cases of sexual harassment by Army officers are “only aberrations”

Antony defends Army officers
THE cases of misuse of funds and sexual harassment by Indian Army officers are only “aberrations and not the rule”, defence minister AK Antony informed Parliament on Wednesday. In a written reply to a Member in Rajya Sabha, Antony elaborated the current status of a few such cases of misconduct by senior officers. One Colonel and one Lieutenant Colonel ranked officers accused of sexually harassing women were…
punished under relevant provisions of Army Act.
In another case, the allegations of misuse of funds and misbehaviour with a woman against a Brigadier posted in Uttarakhand were investigated through a court of inquiry. The allegation of misbehaviour with the woman against the officer was not proved, but he was found guilty of misuse of funds, defence minister said.
Meanwhile, Parliament's Standing Committee on Defence has suggested that the “cooling off” period for officers of the rank of Brigadiers and above be increased to five years from the current level of one year for undertaking any lobbying activities. It’s often noticed that some senior Army officers formally join private companies a year after their retirement and get engaged in lobbying to materialize big-ticket defence deals. The “cooling off” period incidentally was reduced from two years to one year in recent years. Even for bureaucrats, the rules say they can’t take up any private job within one year of their retirement. However, they can take special permission from the personnel ministry to join ahead of the cooling off period.
The suggestions of the House panel have come at a time when Indian investigating agency CBI is probing an allegation that retired Lieutenant General Tejinder Singh offered to pay a bribe of Rs 14 crore to Army Chief General VK Singh to get an order of 700 Tatra trucks for the Army. The charges were labelled by none other than the Army chief himself.

Action and Appointmentsa)    The government has approved the extension of inter-cadre deputation of MH Khan, a 1988 batch Manipur-Tripura cadre IAS, from Manipur to Uttarakhand  for a period of one year. A notification dated May 2, 2012 also said that no request for further extension would be entertained.
b)    The government has accorded its approval in inter-cadre deputation of Dr E Ramesh Kumar from Madhya Pradesh to Andhra Pradesh for a period of three years.
c)    Upma Srivastava, a 1988 batch Sikkim cadre IAS, has been appointed as Chief Vigilance Commissioner at Airport Authority of India. She is allowed to draw either the salary of a joint secretary plus the deputation allowance, or the pay of the AAI post.
d)    Deepak Anurag, a 1988 batch Indian Audit and Accounts Service officer, has been appointed as joint secretary in the ministry of defence.

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