Armed Forces Tribunal defers hearing in Vice Admiral Bimal Verma’s plea seeking appointment as Navy Chief

New Delhi: The Armed Forces Tribunal on Wednesday deferred the hearing in the case filed by Vice Admiral Bimal Verma seeking an appointment as the next Navy Chief of India and also ordered that Vice Admiral Karambir Singh can take charge as the Navy Chief on May 31.

The appointment of Karambir Singh, however, will be subject to the final outcome of the petition filed by Verma and the final decision passed by the Tribunal.

Vice Admiral Bimal Verma had challenged the Defence Ministry’s decision to reject his plea for being overlooked for appointment as the next Navy Chief and requested the court to hear his plea before Vice Admiral Karambir Singh takes over the command of the force on May 31.

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“The government has rejected the representation of the Vice Admiral. Therefore, as per law, we would be withdrawing the present petition with liberty to challenge the order issued by the government and request the tribunal to hear the matter before the new chief takes over,” Vice Admiral Verma’s lawyer Ankur Chhibber had told ANI.

The Defence Ministry on May 17 had rejected the plea of Vice Admiral Verma challenging the appointment of Vice Admiral Karambir Singh as the next Chief of the Indian Navy.

Verma had questioned the government’s decision of overlooking him for the post of Navy chief despite him being the seniormost.

Rejecting his statutory complaint filed on April 10, Defence Ministry’s Joint Secretary (Navy) Richa Mishra had clarified that though seniority is an important criterion while appointing services chiefs, it is not the “sole” criteria. It has been dispensed with in the past too while appointing the Navy chiefs.


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