Defence Minister A K Antony on Thursday said he had met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and consulted "everybody" before accepting the resignation of an "upset" Admiral D K Joshi as Navy Chief in the wake of Wednesday’s submarine mishap.
Antony, who came under criticism from former top navy officials for promptly accepting Joshi's resignation, said, "I consulted everybody. I met the Prime Minister also. Ultimately, we took a decision to accept the resignation."
Describing the Navy Chief as a "very good Admiral" and a "fine human being", the Defence Minister said he is "sad" about the whole development.
This is the first reaction of the Defence Minister after Admiral Joshi decided to hang his boots.
"Yesterday Admiral Joshi met me personally and he handed over me resignation letter and he requested me to accept the letter with immediate effect," he told reporters here.
Admiral Joshi had suggested that till a final arrangement is made, Navy Vice Chief Vice Admiral Robin Dhovan be made the acting Navy chief, the minister said.
"He (Admiral Joshi) was very disturbed by the whole development. He is very fine human being and a very good admiral. He was totally upset about the whole development. He requested me that he would like to take the whole responsibility, so he requested me to accept his resignation with immediate effect," Antony said.
The resignation of 59-year-old Joshi on Wednesday, who had about 15 months more left in service, came hours after submarine INS Sindhuratna had a mishap off the Mumbai coast in which seven sailors were taken seriously ill and two officers were missing.
The defence ministry had on Wednesday said that Admiral Joshi resigned "taking moral responsibility for the accidents and incidents which have taken place during the past few months".
"The Government has accepted the resignation of Admiral Joshi with immediate effect," it said.