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Service chiefs may not be called by Parliament panel

April 13, 2012 16:59 IST

The three service chiefs are unlikely to be called before Parliament's standing committee on defence to give an account of the state of preparedness of the forces. This has become clear with sources in the committee and outside saying that the move has been given up as it would unnecessarily send a wrong signal at a time when the talk of a trust deficit between government and defence forces is being raked up.

Chairman of the Committee Satpal Maharaj had two days ago signalled a change in the decision of the Committee through a statement, which said that no official correspondence for calling the three service chiefs on April 20 has "so far" been issued. He issued the statement on Wednesday after sources on the committee on Monday had said that the three service chiefs would be called to give an account of the state of preparedness of the forces against the backdrop of army chief Gen V K Singh speaking of shortages and deficiencies. They said that the "matter was taken up at the highest level" and Maharaj has been made to understand that such a move would not be a mature one as its implications would not be good.

Earlier too a section of the committee felt that calling all the three service chiefs together would send a wrong message and therefore if there was a need only one service chief should be called at a time.

This section was also critical of the conduct of an official of the Committee who had spoken about calling the three service chiefs. "It is clarified to the media that no official correspondence for calling the chiefs on the said date has so far been issued," Maharaj had said.

Reports had it that in its meeting on April 9, the committee had decided to call the three service chiefs to give an account of the state of preparedness of the forces.

While it was decided to call them on April 20, the date for appearance could be adjusted to ensure that all the three Chiefs are available on the same day.

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