Defence Ministry rejects Vice Admiral Bimal Verma’s plea challenging appointment of Navy Chief

Vice Admiral Bimal Verma questioned the government’s decision to overlook him despite his seniority over Karambir Singh. (File)

The Defence Ministry rejected Vice Admiral Bimal Verma’s plea Saturday challenging the appointment of Vice Admiral Karambir Singh as the next Navy chief. The plea was filed on April 10. Verma questioned the government’s decision to ignore seniority and appoint his junior as the next Navy chief.

The defence ministry, in an order, rejected the Vice Admiral’s plea calling it ‘devoid of merit’. The ministry further said that the Centre was satisfied with the parameters of selection and based on an assessment Verma was considered but found unsuitable.

As per ANI, the Defence Ministry said: "Upon examination, the Central government is satisfied that the parameters for selection as evident from consistent practice were applied uniformly to all the officers in the zone of consideration and based on the assessment, Verma being the senior most eligible officer was considered and found unsuitable to tenets of the appointment of Chief of naval staff."

Richa Mishra, Defence Ministry’s joint secretary, clarified that though seniority is an important criterion it is not the ‘sole’ criteria and it has been overlooked in the past too while appointing the chief of Navy.

She added that ‘no unsubstantiated frivolous, extraneous or irrelevant consideration has had a bearing on this selection’.

Vice Admiral Karambir Singh was named as the next chief of the naval staff succeeding Admiral Sunil Lamba who retires on May 31.