Lt-General faces court martial
New Delhi, July 18
While the Army officials refused to give out the names of the officers involved in the “cereal scam”, sources in the Army Headquarters said that the Generals allegedly involved were Lt-Gen S.K. Sahni, who was the Director-General, Supply and Transport, and Major-Gen S. Dahiya, to be posted to Southern Command
A statement issued by the Indian Army said the court of inquiry investigating into the alleged irregularities in the procurement of certain items of dry rations had now been finalised and some omission and lapses in the functioning and discharge of duties by various functionaries had come to light.
It further said that as per the ethos of the Army, to ensure that justice was met and no misdemeanour went unpunished, the competent authority (GOC-in-Chief Western Command) had directed disciplinary action against one General officer and five more officers and administrative action against one General officer and three more officers.
According to sources, after the summary of evidence, which was likely to happen soon, the Army was expected to launch court martial proceedings against the Lt-General while the administrative action was expected against the Major-General again after the recording of summary of evidence.
The “cereal scam” came to light in the Army when it was found that more than 1,000 metric tonnes of ‘masoor dal’ was found to be unfit for human consumption.
Although initially the probe had named almost a dozen officers, including the Generals, but later it was found that besides the two Generals eight more officers were involved. The officers were found “guilty of ignoring the quality control specifications and changing the tendering process” for purchasing the cereal for the forces.
The purchases were made in early 2005 and a probe was ordered in September 2005 following complaints. The over 800-page inquiry report pointed to serious lapses made in the procurement process and samples of the cereal taken were found to be unfit for human consumption.
Incidentally, reports suggested that due to delay in ordering of the probe almost 40 per cent of the purchased cereal had already reached the destinations.