After enough talks, Army Chief Dalbir Singh has dropped a bombshell by submitting the affidavits and related documents in the Supreme Court accusing predecessors, union minister VK Singh, of victimizing him and trying to stop his promotion.
This is the first case of any army chief going public with allegations against a former chief. In the court document that refers to General VK Singh only as "then COAS (chief of army staff)", General Dalbir Singh has said that the former army chief tried to stall his promotion.
"I was sought to be victimised by the then COAS with the sole purpose of denying me promotion to the appointment of Army Commander," the army chief has said in the document reported by The Indian Express.
The allegations are not new but have resurfaced in a far stronger version; Dalbir Singh had taken the same stand against VK Singh before the Armed Forces Tribunal in 2012.
Dalbir Singh was placed under a "Discipline and Vigilance" ban by General Singh in 2012 for alleged failure of command and control over a botched search operation in Assam's Jorhat on 20 December, 2011.
Dalbir Singh was then General Officer Commanding of the 3 Corps in Assam. He has said in his document to the Supreme Court that on the day of the Jorhat operation, "I was away on part of annual leave and rejoined duty on 26 December 2011."
Asserting that there were no evidence against him, General Dalbir Singh said that a show cause notice issued to him by General Singh was illegal and led to an illegal ban. Dalbir Singh's promotion was finally cleared by General Bikram Singh who reversed the ban after taking over from VK Singh in 2012.
The delayed promotion was challenged in the Supreme Court by Lieutenant General Ravi Dastane, who was among the contenders for the post and accused General Bikram Singh of favouring Dalbir Singh.
This is the second major controversy linked to General VK Singh's tenure. In the months before his retirement in 2012, he had moved the Supreme Court to change his birth date in army records. SC said that the government's decision on his date of birth would apply.