The Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) on Thursday directed the Central government to submit its response within three weeks in connection with a petition filed by Vice-Admiral Bimal Verma challenging the appointment of his junior Vice Admiral Karambir Singh as the next Navy Chief.
Talking to ANI, the lawyers representing Verma, Ankur Chhibber and Verma's daughter Rhea Verma said, "The court took the matter today and directed the government to submit its reply in three weeks time. The Government has told the court that it will reply in four weeks regarding the appeal filed on April 23, seeking to stay the government order of March 23 to appoint Karambir Singh as the next Navy Chief instead of him."
Rhea said, "The Central Government has to positively decide on this complaint by May 15. The matter is now listed for May 20."
Chhibber said, "We filed the statutory complaint on April 10 which was received by the government on April 11. We requested the Central government to decide the matter expeditiously in 10 days. Since the 10 days came to an end two days back, we filed the petition which was taken up by the court today. The Government's counsel said that they want four weeks for disposal of the appeal. The Court has asked the government to respond within three weeks from today. The matter will be kept before the court on May 20."
The post of Navy Chief will get vacant on May 31 next owing to the retirement of Admiral Sunil Lanba who is superannuating after a three-year tenure.
Vice Admiral Verma, had first approached the tribunal on April 8 but withdrew his petition soon after he had not exhausted the legal remedies available to him within the Navy. He is currently the commander-in-chief of the Andaman and Nicobar Command. (ANI)