Appointment Of Next Naval Chief Of India
The Government of India, through its Defence Ministry on Saturday rejected the plea of Vice Admiral Bimal Verma, who had challenged his supersession by the appointment of Vice Admiral Karambir Singh as the next Chief of the Indian Navy.
Admiral Verma had exercised his right and appealed against the government’s decision of overlooking him for the post of Navy chief despite he being the senior most. However his statutory complaint filed on April 10 has been rejected.
The clarification of the Government ( Cabinet Committee Security in this case) was given out by the Defence Ministry’s Joint Secretary (Navy) Richa Mishra.
She stated that as per the CCS though seniority is an important criterion while appointing services chiefs but it is not the “sole” criteria. It has been dispensed with in the past too while appointing the Navy chiefs.
The Government Orders issued by the Defence Ministry said, “The Central government after careful examination of the matter is of the opinion that this statutory petition dated April 10 from Vice Admiral Verma regarding his non-selection as the chief of naval staff is devoid of merit and be rejected.”
The ministry further said, “Upon examination, the Central government is satisfied that the parameters for selection as evident from consistent practice were applied uniformly to all the officers in the zone of consideration and based on the assessment, Admiral Verma being the senior most eligible officer was considered and found unsuitable to tenets of the appointment of Chief of naval staff.”
“The Central government is also satisfied that no unsubstantiated frivolous, extraneous or irrelevant consideration has had a bearing on this said selection,” Richa Mishra said while reading out the Government’s order rejecting the Verma’s plea.
After the government overlooked him and designated Vice Admiral Karambir Singh as the next Navy chief, Verma who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Andaman and Nicobar Command approached the armed forces tribunal. The government last month named Vice Admiral Karambir Singh as next chief of the naval staff, succeeding Admiral Sunil Lanba who will retire on May 31.
However, at this level of 4xFlag Officers Commanding in Chiefs and Vice Chief of Naval Staff, based on what inputs and according to what process is the CCS able to decide if the Senior most is not Suitable. So most probably it becomes a very subjective decision. With this kind of precedence set, only God will be able to help India, in case we have a super Coalition Government in place ever.