By Ajit K Dubey
New Delhi [India], November 27 (ANI): At a time when the Defence Ministry is probing forgery charges in confidential records of senior-level officers for promotions, a Deputy Inspector General-rank officer has approached the government alleging that despite being up the merit list, he was denied promotion, which could have been due to alleged malpractices in promotion boards.
In the Redressal of Grievance (RoG) filed by a DIG-rank officer from Coast Guard's Technical Branch, it has been alleged that in the departmental promotion board held in 2020 for promotion from DIG to Inspector General rank, his records have been "misrepresented" and numerical assessments in his Annual Confidential Records (ACRs) were dropped to push him down with "devious" intent to promote an officer much below in the list.
In the complaint, the officer has alleged that the entire exercise was done to favour one individual, defence sources told ANI.
The complaint has come at a time when the Defence Ministry had to scrap an entire promotion board after the intervention of the Defence Minister's office when it emerged that ACRs of officers at Inspector General-rank have been manipulated and marks awarded to them in the previous ACRs have been changed allegedly using whitener to help officers lower in merit to come up in the list and get the promotion.
ACRs of officers have also gone missing from the records of the Indian Coast Guard which may leave scope for manipulation in future promotions, the sources said.
However, against this backdrop, the Defence Ministry has issued an order in the force that while holding the promotion board of officers, their ACRs of previous two years from the date of the promotion board would not be taken into account as per the department of personnel guidelines which were not being followed earlier.
Defence Ministry sources said the rule was implemented in the coast guard against the backdrop of forgery charges.
Soon after the order in this regard was issued, a senior officer who could have been adversely impacted due to the corrective measures taken by the government has approached the Delhi High Court against it.
Defence Sources said the government would strongly take up its case in the court and may order another inquiry to pinpoint the blame on the officer or officers involved in the alleged forgery of ACRs of officers from the rank of ADG and below.
Defence Sources rejected suggestions that there was any type of attempt to shield the officials who may be behind this alleged forgery and said strong actions would be taken against the culprits irrespective of the rank.
An Indian Coast Guard spokesperson said he would not be able to comment on the issue as he was unaware of the case.
The PM Narendra Modi government at the Centre has been very strict against corruption and exemplary action has been taken against erring officials in all departments and ministries including defence. (ANI)