HC puts on hold colonel couple’s posting to two different locations

The Delhi high court on Tuesday put on hold the army’s decision to post two of its senior officers, a married couple, to different parts of the country.

The decision by a bench of Justices Rajiv Sahai Endlaw and Asha Menon came on a plea moved by the husband — Colonel Amit Kumar — challenging the May 15 posting order issued by the Military Secretary Branch, his lawyer said.

Senior advocate Rana Mukherjee and advocate Sunil J Mathews appeared for Col Kumar. Mathews said that the court has asked the army to consider the plea as a representation and to take a decision on the couple’s plea for a posting at the same or geographically close location. The high court also asked the army to inform it about the decision on the representation after four weeks when the matter will be taken up, he said.

He also said that till the next date the bench put on hold the May 15 orders posting Col Kumar and his wife Col Anu Dogra, both of whom are in the Judge Advocate General (JAG) branch of the army and presently posted in Jodhpur, to Port Blair in Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Bhatinda in Punjab, respectively. Central government standing counsel Harish Vaidyanathan said he opposed the plea moved by Col Kumar.

Col Kumar, in his plea filed through advocates Ashim Dua and Tasmin Singh, has said that he had requested the Army in August for reconsideration of his date of movement and also leave of 30 days to attend the “piping ceremony of his wife”, and secure the relocation of his family, which included his aged parents and minor son, to Bhatinda.

However, his requests were denied, the petition has said and added that the decision taken to transfer them without considering their preferences was in violation of the laid down policy and standard operating procedure regarding posting of senior officers. His petition has alleged that the decision to transfer him and his wife to far off locations has been taken as he had filed a statutory complaint against the JAG, Indian Army as well as Deputy JAG, Headquarters Southern Command, Pune.

He has contended that the two senior officers allegedly influenced the said posting orders. Col Kumar, in his petition, has said that since his requests were denied he has been forced to put up his papers for voluntary premature retirement “despite an unblemished and stellar service”.

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