Appoint senior-most officer as Army medical chief: SC
Chandigarh: Setting aside the lateral shifting of an Air Marshal to the post of Director General Medical Services (Army), the Supreme Court on Monday directed that the senior-most officer in line, Lt Gen Manomoy Ganguly, be appointed to the said post.
On August 10, the government posted Air Marshal Rajvir Singh then DGMS (Air Force) as the DGMS (Army) in the rank of Lieutenant General. Medical officers are rotated amongst the three services and don the uniform and ranks of the service they are posted to.
This was challenged by Lt Gen Ganguly, recently promoted from the rank of Major General after a court battle, on grounds of seniority and merit. The issue of the appointment of DGMS (Army) has seen several rounds of litigation in the Armed Forces Tribunal and the apex court that had also resulted in the appointment of another Lieutenant General being quashed earlier.
“We are of the opinion that the process undertaken by the respondents in taking decision to appoint Air Marshal Rajvir Singh as DGMS (Army) does not stand judicial scrutiny. We are constrained to set aside the appointment,” a Bench comprising Justice AK Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan ruled.
Pointing out that the first fundamental error occurred in lateral shifting of Air Marshal Rajvir and considering his candidature along with others, the Bench said it was contrary to guidelines that permitted lateral shifting only in exceptional circumstances, which did not exist in the instant case.