Friday, September 29, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Army chief ‘passing on blame’
Brig Surinder Singh’s interim reply
From Kishore Pathania

CHANDIGARH, Sept 28 — In his interim reply, Brig Surinder Singh of Kargil fame today alleged that the show-cause notice issued to him was “the outcome of vindictive, biased, motivated and mala fide action on the part of Chief of Army Staff”.

Accusing the Army chief of passing on the blame to “juniors like me”, Brig Surinder Singh questioned: “Is he in a competent position to decide about the proposed action against me in the background that he is personally responsible for this inaction despite briefings and warnings?”

He further asked: “Can he be allowed to act in the matter when he is the one responsible for the lapses?”

He added: “His bias is clear from these and a large number of other questions that would arise in this case which would go to the root of the competence of the Chief of Army Staff to issue this show-cause notice rendering the same without jurisdiction”.

In his 15-page reply, he stated: “The present show-cause notice issued to me is totally without jurisdiction, not only on the ground that the present Chief of Army Staff is totally ineligible to act in the matter on account of his personal bias against me, but also on account of the fact that he is directly involved and responsible for the lapses which are listed in the show-cause notice relating to the Kargil intrusion”.

Brig Surinder Singh said: “Ever since I have been posted out of the command of 121(I) Inf Bde, I have not been allowed to rest in peace and have literally been hounded by the Chief of Army Staff”.

Brig Surinder Singh said he represented to the President of India, Mr K.R. Narayanan, Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, for an interview but was informed that Chief of Army Staff had rejected his request “for the grant of audience with the His Excellency”. When he contested this action, Brig Surinder Singh was informed that his request for an interview was rejected by the “competent authority” without specifying the name or address of the competent authority.

Brig Surinder Singh said, “I reserve my right to demand further documents that may be necessary for giving an effective and meaningful reply to the show-cause notice after further consideration,” and sought time to be with his counsel based in Chandigarh.

Brig Surinder Singh prayed that the documents sought by him should be provided to him at an early date and sufficient time given to submit his reply on the merits of the show-cause notice. He also sought sufficient time after the supply of the documents to file his reply to defend himself properly.

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