MoD rejects admiral’s supersession grudge

New Delhi: Vice Admiral Bimal Verma’s plea against the government’s decision to ignore him for the Navy chief’s post despite him being the senior most officer has been turned down by the Ministry of Defence (MOD).

Verma had filed a statutory complaint to the Ministry after the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) asked him to approach the government with his grievance before taking the legal recourse.

Verma, who heads the Andaman and Nicobar tri-service command, was overlooked for the Navy chief’s post as the government named Vice Admiral Karambir Singh as the successor to Admiral Sunil Lanba, who will retire on May 30.

While rejecting the plea, the MOD claimed that seniority is not the only criteria for top appointments in the armed forces and deep selection has been done several times in the past.

Verma was the senior most among the Vice Admirals but the government decided to go for Karambir Singh as the next Navy chief.

Verma had filed the complaint addressed to Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on April 10. He had sought the fast redressal but the MOD took more than a month to dismiss his plea.

The AFT had asked the government to take a decision by May 15. The matter will come up in the AFT on May 20.