Even as (it) criticised V K Singh’s decision, the Ministry went on to state that “there was no conflict of interest in the office of the COAS only because of change of appointment.”
Countering Dastane’s challenge to the selection process, the affidavit said the COAS and the Ministry played the selection board and independently examined the case of as many as seven officers, including Dastane, for consideration as appointment to Army commander. It was only after scrutiny that Suhag and Lt Gen Sanjiv Chachra (who has since retired) were recommended for appointment.
It claimed there was nothing wrong in keeping the appointment on hold for some days as the Ministry awaited details of the DV ban on Suhag. On June 6, 2012 the Ministry was informed about the closure of the case.
“Once the imposition of the DV ban itself was found to be illegal, then the same would be non est ab initio (nullity from the inception) and it cannot in any manner come in the way of either the consideration or appointment of Suhag,” the Ministry said.
The Supreme Court will next hear the matter in September.