SC suggests appointment of Lt Gen Ganguly as DGMS (AF)

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New Delhi, Sep 20 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Thursday suggested to the Centre to appoint Lt General Manomoy Ganguly as the Director General Medical Services (Air Force), observing that he was being deprived of the posting he deserved.

A bench of Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan told Attorney General K.K. Venugopal: “… at least, give him (the post of) Director General Medical Services (Air Force).”

“Are you willing to give him the other post (DGMS (AF)?” Justice Sikri asked the Attorney General who said he needed to take instructions from authorities.

As senior counsel Kapil Sibal, appearing for Ganguly, asked why the officer be made the DGMS (AF) and not the DGMS (Army), the court said that in that case it will have to go into other things. “Let them respond; later, you can pitch it higher.”

The court said this as the Attorney General tried to justify the government action in considering all Lt Generals and those holding equivalent ranks in other wings of the armed forces medical services and moving Air Marshal Rajbir Singh as DGMS (Army) by interpreting the court’s August 1 judgment.

Prior to his posting as DGMS (Army), Air Marshal Rajbir Singh was DGMS (Air Force).

In the said judgment, the top court had said: “As far as inter se suitability is concerned, all the eligible officers in the rank of Lt General (& equiv), having regard to their earlier experience of serving in particular services, they are to be considered for appointment as DGMS of services (i.e. DGMS (Army)).”

The court had said that the officer should be in the rank of Lt General (& equiv), such an officer should be holding the post of Comdt AM and he should have a minimum remainder service of one year from the date of occurrence of the vacancy.

Recalling the sequence of events, the court said that there was something that was impeding Lt Gen Ganguly’s (then Maj General) promotion and that Lt Gen Sanjiv Chopra was made the DGMS (Army).

The August 1 judgment had added: “Keeping in view that the post is lying vacant for some time and also that time is running out insofar as the respondent is concerned, we direct the appellants to place the matter before the Defence Minister forthwith, with no loss of time, and are hopeful that the decision shall be taken within a week.”

After the ineligibility was removed, “we reposed full faith in the (Defence) Minister but what emerged was not our intent”, the court said and asked the AG if Ganguly could be accommodated as DGMS (Air Force).

In the assessment of then Maj Gen Ganguly, he was given less points and by virtue of that he missed out on promotion as Lt General. But this was removed later on court intervention.

At the outset of the hearing, Sibal said that the government had brought the criteria of “overall average profile” for appointment as Director General Medical Services of the three wings of armed forces.

“There can’t be more mala fide,” Sibal said, pointing out that junior most officer has been appointed.

Senior counsel P.S. Patwalia, also appearing for Lt Gen Ganguly, told the bench that posting Air Marshal Rajbir Singh from DGMS (Air Force) to DGMS (Army) was contrary to the 1992 circulars which said that DGMS (Air Force) can’t be considered for the post of DGMS (Army).

The court fixed the next hearing for September 28.



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