New Delhi: A military court has reinstated the rank and honour of a late major general whose promotion was held up due to a case filed by a brigadier who had challenged the officer’s elevation in the armed forces tribunal.
A bench of the Armed Forces Tribunal in Lucknow had stayed the promotion of Maj Gen Devendra Singh nine months ago. The officer, who was holding the post of the additional director general (litigation) in the legal branch of the Army, passed away during the trial in February.

Due to the stay granted by the tribunal, Maj Gen Singh was given the local rank of major general by the Army, which meant that he was getting a salary of a brigadier. This, in turn, meant that his wife and family were getting a lower pension.
Due to the adverse remarks made against the officer during the hearing of the case in the Lucknow bench of the tribunal, one Brigadier DS Ahluwalia had filed a case challenging Maj Gen Singh. 

Maj Gen Singh's counsel Ankur Chhibber said the officer's wife Abha Singh started pursuing the case of her husband as, if she had not done so, Brigadier Ahluwalia would "succeed in his aim and the same would directly affect her late husband who would be deemed to be a brigadier despite having been promoted as major general and that would directly affect her and her children as the pension of her late husband would be adversely affected."

The tribunal accepted the contention of Mrs Singh, saying, "We find that the claim (of the Brigadier) vis-à-vis Maj Gen Devendra Singh who has been promoted as major general, is concerned (sic), is devoid of any merit and deserves to be dismissed... We direct the government of India to grant Maj Gen Devendra Singh his due substantive rank as approved by the competent authority from 01.01.2018.   " the tribunal bench headed by chairman Virender Singh said.
The military also vacated the stay on the promotion granted by the Lucknow bench. 
The entire episode had started when the three officers of the 1987 Batch, Brig Devender Singh, Brig Vipin Chakrawarti and Brig DK Ahluwalia, were considered for promotion by a selection board in April 2017 against a single vacancy of major general in the JAG Department, the Army’s legal wing.

The board’s proceedings were annulled and a fresh board held in October 2017 empanelled Brig Devendra Singh, who was posted as Additional Director General (Litigation) at Army Headquarters in January 2018.

The annulment and subsequent empanelment were challenged by Brig Ahluwalia, who claimed to have a better career profile, and the tribunal stayed the selection and appointment of Brig Singh with directions that, if already promoted, he would not be permitted to discharge duties in his new rank.