Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, March 9th
Attributing a lifestyle disease to working in a COVID-19 environment has cost a lieutenant general a senior post in the armed forces medical facility.
The officer was overlooked for promotion to Director General of the Armed Forces Medical Service (DGAFMS) by a selection panel led by the three chiefs of service for personal misconduct and a subordinate officer was appointed instead.
The Armed Forces Tribunal described the process of selecting the DGAFMS as “robust” and found that the selection panel had rejected its claim to the highest office within the scope of its mandate to take note of all available contributions which comprise the overall profile of an officer.
The bench of the tribunal, comprised of Justice Rajendra Menon and Lieutenant General PM Hariz, noted that the petitioner was not selected for an advantage due to his unsuitable behavior in twisting rules, for reasons approved by the selection board and gain attributability, which is also the case for subsequent financial benefits, such as would have been reflected in a disability pension.
“The Examination Board rightly took due account of the fact that the applicant, despite being the steward of all the rules and their correct implementation, has twisted the rules to their advantage. In addition, under the pretext of having to function in a COVID environment, he had sought attributability to a lifestyle disease; Neither is good for an officer who wants to run the medical service, ”the tribunal noted.
On the recommendation of the Board of Examiners, the Surgeon’s Vice Admiral, Rajat Datta, was appointed DGAFMS in January. DGAFMS heads the medical wing of all three services and is equivalent in status to an Army Commander.
The lieutenant general had asserted that the selection of the post of the DGAFMS in accordance with the applicable rules is based solely on seniority among three of the highest officers in the zone under consideration.
He also alleged certain procedural irregularities in his medical classification after suffering from severe heart disease over the past year, and noted that he had not been selected because certain irrelevant considerations and extraneous factors had crept into the decision-making process.