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Friday, 10 January 2014

From Today's Papers - 10 Jan 2014
















http://www.tribuneindia.com/2014/20140110/nation.htm#5
 SC: Army promotion can't be denied citing extended tenure
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, January 9
Holding that promotion can't be denied to Army officers on extended tenure, the Supreme Court today directed the elevation of a retired officer to the rank of Lieutenant General.

"The denial of promotion to the appellant (Maj Gen HM Singh VSM) mainly for the reason that the appellant was on extension in service, to our mind, is unsustainable besides being arbitrary," a Bench comprising Justices AK Patnaik and JS Khehar ruled.

This was especially so in the light of the fact that the vacancy had become available well before the date of his retirement on superannuation, it said.

"We have, therefore, no hesitation in rejecting the basis on which the claim of the appellant for onward promotion to the rank of Lt General was declined by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet," the SC ruled.

It also noted that the Selection Board had recommended his promotion on the basis of his record of service - performance, leadership qualities and vision - out of a panel of four names. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet did not record any reason to negate the recommendation.

"We are therefore of the view that the appellant deserves promotion to the rank of Lt Gen from the date due to him. Ordered accordingly," the SC said.

Singh, who had been commissioned as Second Lieutenant in June 1969 in the Armoured Corps and permanently moved into the DRDO, shall be deemed to have been in service against the rank of Lt Gen till February 28, 2009 when he attained the age of 60 years and entitled to all monetary benefits which would have been due to him on account of his promotion and revised retiral benefits within three months.

The Selection Board had cleared his promotion on February 27, 2008, two days before his retirement as Maj Gen. In order to ensure that his claim was not frustrated, the President had extended his service initially for three months and subsequently till the approval of his promotion by the Appointments Committee.


http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/army-kicks-off-raising-new-mountain-strike-corps-against-china/articleshow/28571907.cms
Army kicks off raising new mountain strike corps against China
NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday was briefed on the operational readiness along the line of actual control (LAC) with China, in the backdrop of the Army kicking off the raising of a new mountain strike corps to get "some offensive punch" against the much larger People's Liberation Army.

The classified briefing held in the military operations directorate, with defence minister AK Antony, Army chief General Bikram Singh and others in attendance, came exactly a week after the new XVII Mountain Strike Corps was raised at its temporary headquarters at Ranchi.

The new corps, to be headed by Lt General Raymond Joseph Noronha on promotion, will be raised over the next seven years with around 90,000 soldiers. The corps, to be eventually headquartered at Panagarh in West Bengal, will cost Rs 64,700 crore, out of which around Rs 39,000 crore has being earmarked for capital expenditure, said sources.

While the Cabinet committee on security approved the new corps last July, the Army also wants the long-pending infrastructure and "capability development plan" along the "northern borders" with China to be speeded up. The price tag for this, in turn, is pegged at Rs 26,155 crore.

While the PM, in his last meeting with top military brass, said India must strive to develop "comprehensive national power" to tackle the challenges posed by the shift in the global strategic focus towards Asia-Pacific, he had also warned the defence budget might have to be trimmed due to the economic slowdown.

The Army, on its part, says the raising of two new infantry divisions (1,260 officers and 35,000 soldiers) at Lekhapani and Missamari (Assam) in 2009-2010 added muscle to the "dissuasive posture" against China. The XVII Corps, in turn, will ramp it up to the "deterrence" level. In other words, it will get some "rapid reaction force" capability to launch a counter-offensive into Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) in the event of any Chinese attack.

Apart from "integral units" and two Para-Special Forces battalions, the new corps will have two high-altitude infantry divisions (initially being raised at Panagarh and Pathankot), two independent infantry brigades and two armoured brigades spread across Ladakh, Uttarakhand and Sikkim.

The 1.13-million strong Army already has three "strike" corps — Mathura (I Corps), Ambala ( II Corps) and Bhopal (XXI Corps) — among its 13 such formations but they are largely geared towards the land borders with Pakistan.

India only belatedly realized the "greater challenge" posed by China, which has at least five fully-operational airbases, an extensive rail network and over 58,000-km of roads in TAR. This allows China to move over 30 divisions (each with over 15,000 soldiers) to the LAC, outnumbering Indian forces by at least 3:1 there, as earlier reported by TOI.


http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2014-01-08/news/45991511_1_operational-preparedness-defence-brass-army-headquarters
Manmohan Singh reviews operational preparedness with defence brass at Army Headquarters
 NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today reviewed the situation on borders with Pakistan and China and operational preparedness of the Army and other two services at the Army Headquarters here.

Singh visited the 'war room' of the Directorate of Military Operations where he was given a detailed briefing on the preparedness of the armed forces, Defence Ministry officials said here.

The Prime Minister was briefed about the situation along both the eastern and the western borders and the operational readiness of the armed forces there, they said.

The Prime Minister addresses the top tri-services brass at the Combined Commanders' Conference annually but rarely comes to the Army Headquarters for such briefings, sources said.

The visit comes at a time when media reports have suggested that Chinese troops have been carrying out frequent incursions into the areas along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the northern and northeastern states.

The armed forces are also gearing up for enhancing security preparedness in the backdrop of the US pull out from Afghanisatn after which it is being feared that terror elements will spread out in the region creating problems for countries such as India.


http://news.outlookindia.com/items.aspx?artid=824181
Japan Seeks India's Support on Disputes With China
Engaged in a territorial dispute with China, Japan today sought to rope in India's support over "the recent Chinese provocative actions" saying a message needs to be sent to it collectively that status quo cannot be changed by force.

Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera said dialogue is the only way to resolve the row created by imposition of restrictions by China in the East China Sea and other areas.

"For both India and Japan, China is an important neighbouring country. Both countries have important economic linkages with China. However, after the recent Chinese provocative actions, entire international community will have to send a message to China," he told PTI in an interview here.

"Both Japan and India should ask for a dialogue with Chinese side and tell China not to change status quo by force. These issues should be solved through dialogue and following international rules," the Minister said.

He was responding when asked whether India and Japan could come together on issues with China as both the countries have territorial disputes with it.

The security situation in the region against the backdrop of recent tensions between Japan and China triggered by imposition of 'Air Defence Identification Zone' (ADIZ) over East China Sea and other areas by China came up during talks between Onodera and his Indian counterpart A K Antony here on Monday.

During the meeting, Antony is understood to have told Onodera that India stands for freedom of navigation in international waters and application of global conventions.

After the ADIZ started creating tensions in the South East Asian region, India had stated that the issue should be resolved between the concerned parties through dialogue in a peaceful way and it was against use of force to resolve the matters.

Asked about an earlier proposal by Tokyo for forming a trilateral grouping of India, Japan and the US to deal with challenges from China, Onodera said, "India and Japan have good ties with the US. Economically and internationally and in terms of military forces, these are big countries."

He said that, "If India, Japan and the US are in cooperation and send a common message to the Chinese side, that will mean a lot."

The Japanese Defence Minister said his country shares strong ties with both India and the US.

"We share the same interests in safety of sea lanes of communications and to secure the freedom of navigation. Trilaterally, India, Japan and the US should be cooperating in these areas," he said.

On his talks with Antony, Onodera said the two countries have decided to enhance their military ties and a number of decisions were taken during the meeting.

The two sides have agreed on cooperation in Peacekeeping Operations between their respective agencies along with cooperation between the Japanese Ground Self Defence Forces and the Indian Army, he said.

The two countries have also decided to conduct staff exchanges and discuss possibility of conducting staff talks between Japan Air Self-Defence Force and Indian Air Force and professional exchanges of test-pilots, professional exchanges in the field of flight safety and between their transport squadrons.


http://www.lowyinterpreter.org/post/2014/01/09/17-Corps-As-China-rises-Indias-army-raises-the-stakes.aspx
17 Corps: As China rises, India's army raises the stakes
Last year, after a long period of dithering and uncertainty, India’s cabinet finally gave the go-ahead for the raising of a massive new offensive army unit, the 80-90,000-strong China-facing 17 Corps (a corps comprises roughly three divisions). Its underlying purpose is to provide conventional deterrence against China, strengthening India’s hand in crises. Four years after the idea was first mooted, and after a rough year for Sino-Indian relations, it is finally coming to fruition.

The new 17 Corps is the most significant of India’s various efforts to respond to China’s rise in general, and Chinese probing at the disputed in border in particular. Why? Only three of India’s 13 existing army corps are so-called 'strike corps' (1, 2 and 21 Corps), all of which are directed towards Pakistan. 17 Corps will therefore be the first such unit dedicated to China and the first dedicated to mountain terrain, in which offensive operations are much more demanding.

It is now reported that the corps will be based in Panagarh in the eastern state of West Bengal from 2015 (it’s temporarily in Ranchi), with two divisions in Bihar and Assam, and other units spread further. Panagarh was developed as part of the US Army’s 'over the hump’ operations  to supply nationalist Chinese forces across the Himalayas during the Second World War. India’s expanding fleet of American C-130 transport aircraft will also be deployed there, making it easier to move troops across difficult terrain, as will six new mid-air refueling aircraft  the air force is procuring. The corps commander will be Major General Raymond Joseph Noronha, who currently heads the Northern Command’s 13 Corps, which was raised after the Kargil War.

Not everyone is celebrating. Some Indian analysts have argued that 17 Corps will further bloat the Indian Army’s payroll, divert funds for more important capital acquisitions, and be rendered immobile by the poor state of roads in India’s north. Others contend  that China is more vulnerable at sea than on land, and India's offensive capabilities should be concentrated in the navy. The question now is whether 17 Corps will get up and running on schedule (within eight years) or with the same torpor that preceded its formation.


http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/Murder-accused-gets-back-Army-job/articleshow/28607539.cms
Murder accused gets back Army job
 CHENNAI: An Army man accused of murdering his sister's lover by smashing his head with a stone has been reinstated in service after the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) intervened. Earlier, the Supreme Court had acquitted him giving him the benefit of the doubt. But the Army refused his plea for re-induction. The southern bench of AFT quashed the dismissal order as he had been exonerated.

In July 2002, Army sapper B Velu went on leave to his home in Krishnagiri. The police arrested Velu along with two others on charges of conspiring and murdering a man who was in a relationship with his sister. The principal sessions judge, Dharmapuri at Krisnagiri in 2007 awarded him life imprisonment. The Madras high court in 2009 upheld the decision, stating the "chain of events unerringly pointed to the guilt". He then moved the Supreme Court which pointed out there was motive but evidence for guilt was not corroborated. "Suspicion, howsoever strong, also cannot be a substitute for proof of the guilt," said the apex court, acquitting him in 2012.

Velu then made several representations to the Army stating "it is a settled principle that a person affected in his employment by a conviction of a criminal court should be placed in the previous position when he succeeds in the appeal." As there was no reply, he filed a complaint with AFT.

The Army said Velu's punishment set a bad example to his subordinates and was not desirable in the uniformed services. As a result, he was issued a show-cause notice and dismissed from service. The Army also pointed out the order of the Supreme Court did not have any directions to reinstate the petitioner. Further, his representations had been forwarded to HQ northern command. Velu's request was being processed and there was delay as it was an administrative matter requiring approval of various agencies, said the Army.

The bench comprising judicial member V Periya Karuppiah and administrative member Anand Mohan Verma said the dismissal order could not continue as the complainant had been absolved of the criminal charges. It directed the Army to reinstate Velu along with back wages from the date of dismissal, along with monetary benefits including promotion and seniority.


http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/Defence-minister-AK-Antony-Army-chief-Gen-Bikram-Singh-on-two-day-visit-to-Kolkata/articleshow/28601997.cms
Defence minister AK Antony, Army chief Gen Bikram Singh on two-day visit to Kolkata
KOLKATA: Defence minister AK Antony accompanied by Army chief Gen Bikram Singh reached Kolkata on a two-day visit on Thursday. At the Eastern Command headquarters, Antony was briefed on the security scenario and operational preparedness of the troops by GOC-in-C Lt Gen MMS Rai. The minister was also apprised of how peace and tranquility is being maintained along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) as per the Border Peace and Tranquility Agreement (BPTA) and Border Defence Cooperation Agreement (BDCA).

"The briefing was important as a lot of infrastructure is being developed in this sector for better preparedness to counter any aggressive move from across the LAC. The minister was also informed of the situation in the North East where troops are involved in counter-insurgency operations. Discussions were also held on the Bodo situation that has taken an ugly turn. Insurgency in the North East is the longest running in the country," a source revealed.

Antony was also informed of the improvement that has taken place in the living condition of troops deployed in the forward areas, most of which are at high altitudes. Welfare of troops has been an area where the defence ministry has laid a lot of stress in recent times. Several measures have been taken to improve the living conditions of troops, veterans, widows and family members.

"The defence minister appreciated the role of the officers and troops of the Eastern Command in maintaining constant vigil along the LAC. He also expressed satisfaction with the high level of motivation and morale of officers and troops deployed in difficult and physically-demanding terrain. He commended their role in enhancing mutual trust understanding between India and China as per agreements," the source added.

Antony was received at the RCTC helipad by Lt Gen A K Choudhary, GOC, Bengal Area. The defence minister, who is also chairman of the Indian Statistical Institute Council will attend its convocation on Friday. President Pranab Mukherjee will be the chief guest.
KOLKATA: Defence minister AK Antony accompanied by Army chief Gen Bikram Singh reached Kolkata on a two-day visit on Thursday. At the Eastern Command headquarters, Antony was briefed on the security scenario and operational preparedness of the troops by GOC-in-C Lt Gen MMS Rai. The minister was also apprised of how peace and tranquility is being maintained along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) as per the Border Peace and Tranquility Agreement (BPTA) and Border Defence Cooperation Agreement (BDCA).

"The briefing was important as a lot of infrastructure is being developed in this sector for better preparedness to counter any aggressive move from across the LAC. The minister was also informed of the situation in the North East where troops are involved in counter-insurgency operations. Discussions were also held on the Bodo situation that has taken an ugly turn. Insurgency in the North East is the longest running in the country," a source revealed.

Antony was also informed of the improvement that has taken place in the living condition of troops deployed in the forward areas, most of which are at high altitudes. Welfare of troops has been an area where the defence ministry has laid a lot of stress in recent times. Several measures have been taken to improve the living conditions of troops, veterans, widows and family members.

"The defence minister appreciated the role of the officers and troops of the Eastern Command in maintaining constant vigil along the LAC. He also expressed satisfaction with the high level of motivation and morale of officers and troops deployed in difficult and physically-demanding terrain. He commended their role in enhancing mutual trust understanding between India and China as per agreements," the source added.

Antony was received at the RCTC helipad by Lt Gen A K Choudhary, GOC, Bengal Area. The defence minister, who is also chairman of the Indian Statistical Institute Council will attend its convocation on Friday. President Pranab Mukherjee will be the chief guest.
KOLKATA: Defence minister AK Antony accompanied by Army chief Gen Bikram Singh reached Kolkata on a two-day visit on Thursday. At the Eastern Command headquarters, Antony was briefed on the security scenario and operational preparedness of the troops by GOC-in-C Lt Gen MMS Rai. The minister was also apprised of how peace and tranquility is being maintained along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) as per the Border Peace and Tranquility Agreement (BPTA) and Border Defence Cooperation Agreement (BDCA).

"The briefing was important as a lot of infrastructure is being developed in this sector for better preparedness to counter any aggressive move from across the LAC. The minister was also informed of the situation in the North East where troops are involved in counter-insurgency operations. Discussions were also held on the Bodo situation that has taken an ugly turn. Insurgency in the North East is the longest running in the country," a source revealed.

Antony was also informed of the improvement that has taken place in the living condition of troops deployed in the forward areas, most of which are at high altitudes. Welfare of troops has been an area where the defence ministry has laid a lot of stress in recent times. Several measures have been taken to improve the living conditions of troops, veterans, widows and family members.

"The defence minister appreciated the role of the officers and troops of the Eastern Command in maintaining constant vigil along the LAC. He also expressed satisfaction with the high level of motivation and morale of officers and troops deployed in difficult and physically-demanding terrain. He commended their role in enhancing mutual trust understanding between India and China as per agreements," the source added.

Antony was received at the RCTC helipad by Lt Gen A K Choudhary, GOC, Bengal Area. The defence minister, who is also chairman of the Indian Statistical Institute Council will attend its convocation on Friday. President Pranab Mukherjee will be the chief guest.

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