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PIL in SC against next Army chief

New Delhi: A group of retired officers and bureaucrats has moved the Supreme Court challenging the appointment of Lt Gen Bikram Singh as the next Army chief on the ground that he was allegedly involved in a fake encounter in Jammu and Kashmir in 2001. Lt General Singh, currently the Eastern Army Commander, is to succeed General V K Singh who demits office on May 31.

Challenging the appointment, the petitioners, including former Navy Chief Admiral Laxminarayan Ramdas and former Chief election Commissioner N Gopalaswamy, alleged in their PIL that Lt General Singh was involved in the fake encounter and the case is pending in the Jammu and Kashmir High Court.

The petitioners, also including veteran journalist Sam Rajapa and social activist M G Devasahayam, alleged that Lt Gen Singh failed to take action against officers who were involved in sexual harassment and rape when they were posted to Congo in 2008 as part of the UN peace-keeping mission. The government had on March 3 announced the appointment of Lt Gen Bikram Singh as the next Army chief.

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