SC directs Centre not to fill the post of DGMS (Air Force)

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New Delhi : The Supreme Court on Monday restrained the Centre from filling the post of Director General Medical Services (Air Force) and sought Centre's response on the plea by Lt. General Manomoy Ganguly who is asserting claim to be appointed as DGMS (Army).

The bench of Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan restrained the Centre from filling the post as the court was told that the post of the DGMS (Air Force) is likely to be filled thereby closing the doors on Lt. General Ganguly.

Senior counsel Kapil Sibal, who appeared for Lt. Gen. Ganguly, told the court that a man junior to Ganguly by one year is being appointed to the vacant slot.

The court was informed that to defeat the claim by Lt. Gen. Ganguly, the DGMS (Air Force) has been posted as DGMS(Army).

The court ordered that the post of DGMS (Air Force) should not be filled as it perused the records relating to the matter before it.

Attorney General K.K. Venugopal said that it was the decision of Defence Minister to move the DGMS (Air Force) as DGMS (Army).

Attorney General said, "It is Defence Minister's order." Sibal retorted: "Maybe. It may be Prime Minister's decision. A Defence Minister is not above law."

Senior counsel P.S. Patwalia also appearing for Ganguly told the court that he was being offered a three-tier post.

"So far I have not been given anything. They are offering him a three-tier post. If third post (DGMS-Air Force is filled by a third person, then nothing will be left", Patwalia told the court.

The top court by its August 1, 2018 while differing with the Armed Forces Tribunal's May 7, 2018, direction to appoint Lt. Gen. Ganguly as DGMS (Army) had remitted the matter to the Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

The AFT by its May 7, 2018, order had directed the Centre to appoint Lt. Gen. Ganguly as DGMS (Army) "as expeditiously as possible and certainly not later than one month from today, and for that purpose, take all necessary consequential steps."

The next date of hearing is September 10.