New Delhi: A senior Air Marshal of the Indian Air Force has expressed concerns to the Defence Ministry about the ongoing process pertaining to the appointment of the next Chief of Air Staff. The government has begun the procedure of finding a successor for Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa who is due to retire on September 30.
"The Air Marshal-rank officer recently met a top functionary of the Defence Ministry and expressed his concerns over the appointment process as there is a possibility of the government not adhering to the so-called 'line of succession' in the case," sources in the defence ministry told ANI.
The officer who has voiced his concern in connection with the aforementioned appointment procedure would have been the senior-most as per the UPA-era 'line of succession' policy for appointing services chiefs.
The officer is one of the five senior-most officers in the Indian Air Force.
During the UPA government from 2004 to 2014, services chiefs were appointed from among the senior commander-in-chief rank officers according to their seniority in terms of date of birth and service number.
However, after the Narendra Modi government came to power, the appointments were made on the basis of merit and achievements of individual officers in their military service along with the seniority principle.
The government had followed the same model in the appointment of Indian Army chief in December 2016 and in the recent appointment of Indian Navy chief in May this year.
Defence Ministry sources said the process of the appointment for the next IAF chief was initiated soon after Narendra Modi government was elected for a second term. The names of the seniormost officers are being included in the panel of officers for the consideration of the Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC).
Sources in the government said the Defence Ministry is still doing its due diligence over the file and is likely to send it to the ACC in the next few days.
The names of the officers in the panel are listed as per seniority along with their profiles and dossiers....