In a major development concerning promotions in the Army, the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) has directed the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to set aside additional vacancies in the upper echelons proportionally for combat support arms such as Signals and Engineers, reports The Tribune.
The order means that there would be greater representation from these branches in higher ranks such as Brigadier, Major General, and maybe even Lieutenant Generals. The move may also affect the number of these positions available for other arms.
“The respondents are directed to allot a proportionate number of additional vacancies in the ranks of Brigadier and Major General, out of the 222 Brigadier and 75 Major General vacancies allotted by the government in tune with the AV Singh Committee recommendations, to Engineers, Signals and Air Defence corps keeping in view the allocation of 141 vacancies in the rank of Colonel to these arms by the Supreme Court on February 15, 2016,” ruled an AFT Bench comprising Justice Virender Singh and Lt Gen Philip Campose.
The fighting arms of the Army constitute of those branches which are directly involved in combat, such as the Infantry, Armoured and Artillery, while support arms such as the Army Ordnance Corps, Electronics and Mechanical Engineers, Army Medical Corps and Judge Advocate General look after administrative and logistical support behind the battle lines.
Some sections of supporting arms were unhappy about the disproportionate number of higher ranks being bagged by fighting arms and had consequently initiated court proceedings before the Armed Forces Tribunal.
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