A senior General, against whom the Army has initiated administrative action for his role in the Darjeeling land scam, has proceeded on a ten-day-long leave.
"Lieutenant General Avadesh Prakash has taken leave for ten days beginning Tuesday," senior Army officers said in New Delhi amidst speculation that he was asked to proceed on leave by Army chief General Deepak Kapoor.
Prakash, who is set to retire on January 31, found himself in the dock after an Army probe found him culpable in the land scam in Darjeeling, where a no-objection certificate (NOC) was issued to a private realtor to buy a 70 acres of civilian land adjacent to the Sukna military station.
The NOC became an issue after the Army found out that the private realtor, Dalip Aggarwal, had "falsely claimed" to have started work on setting up an institution affiliated to Ajmer-based Mayo College. The Army had originally planned to use the piece of land for its own purposes to establish a training centre due to considerations of security in the region that falls close to the Chinese border.
An Army probe into the issue brought to light that Lieutenant General Prakash, along with Lieutenant General P K Rath, Lieutenant General Ramesh Halgali and Major General P Sen were involved in the giving of the NOC following which Eastern Army Commander Lt Gen V K Singh recommended to the Army chief that stern action will be taken against all senior officers.
In particular, Singh had recommended that Prakash's services be terminated as he had reportedly wielded undue influence on other officers to issue of the NOC. He is alleged to have proximity with the private realtor.