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Nepotism In The Navy: Vice Admiral Fined For Fudging Reports To Promote Son-In-Law

The Armed Forces Tribunal had several strict words for the Navy.

01/08/2017 1:57 PM IST | Updated 01/08/2017 2:20 PM IST
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A rocket is fired from the Indian Navy destroyer ship INS Ranvir during an exercise drill in the Bay Of Bengal off the coast of Chennai on April 18, 2017.

Nepotism, most of us know, is not restricted to Bollywood and the entertainment industry alone, though lately the association between the two has come up a lot. But now, the Navy has earned a sharp rap on the knuckles for not realising that its former Vice Admiral was able to easily fudge confidential reports in order to help his son-in-law.

The Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) yesterday slapped a Rs 5 lakh fine on Vice Admiral PK Chatterjee for inflating his son-in-law Captain AV Agashe's Annual Confidential Report (ACR), while downgrading the profiles of officers competing with him for a promotion, during his stint as the Inspector General of Nuclear Safety, reported The Indian Express.

The matter came to light when Commander SS Luthra, now retired, petitioned the AFT against Vice Admiral Chatterjee, who has also retired. Commander Luthra alleged that he was passed over for promotion to the level of Captain because Chatterjee, who was the Senior Reviewing Officer (SRO) for the officers serving on nuclear submarines INC Chakra and INS Arihant from 2010 to 2012, manipulated reports to secure a promotion for Agashe.

According to a report in The Tribune, the AFT found merit in his claims that despite having an impeccable record and undergoing substantial training in nuclear reactor operations in Russia, the only officer that was promoted was Captain Agashe, who had never operated a nuclear reactor. Shocked by this move, Commander Luthra opted for voluntary retirement.

While ruling in favour of Commander Luthra, the AFT directed Vice Admiral Chatterjee to pay him Rs 5 lakh as compensation and asked the Navy to disregard all ACRs of Commander Luthra by Chatterjee and review the matter afresh. If the Navy finds that he was unfairly denied promotion, the AFT has directed Commander Luthra to be offered the rank of Captain, along with all the benefits of the title from the original date he should have been promoted.

While the tribunal, comprising Justice Virender Singh, chairperson of the AFT, and Lt General Sanjiv Langer (retd) did not comment on the promotion of Captain Agashe, it did note that it was surprising that the Navy does not already have in-built systems to ensure that employees cannot use the power of their posts to give undue advantages to their kins. The tribunal has also asked the Navy to strictly specify policies to ensure that such incidents do not occur again in the future, reported Times of India.

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