NEW DELHI: In an unusual move that has raised eyebrows in military circles, the government has granted a month’s extension to the Military Secretary to the President, Major General Anil Khosla, beyond his December 31 retirement date in order for a special review board to consider his promotion to the next Lieutenant General rank.
Sources said Major General Khosla, who was commissioned into the Kumaon Regiment in 1979, had got extension in service for his promotion case to be considered afresh by the special review board even though “he had not made the grade in three consecutive selection boards” held by the Army.
“But there is nothing in the offing as of now. A special review board, consisting of the Army chief, vice-chief and GOCs-in-C of the six operational and one training command, cannot be convened just like that to consider one case. It will set a wrong precedent,” said a source.
Major General Khosla, who refused to say anything on being contacted by TOI, was promoted to the two-star general rank in the “staff only” stream and was subsequently posted as the military secretary to former President Pranab Mukherjee.
Continuing in the post after Ram Nath Kovind took over as the President in July last year, Major General Khosla was to superannuate on turning 58 on December 31. A lieutenant general can serve till the age of 60.
As per the existing promotion policy in the Army, brigadiers approved in the “command” stream go on to head operational formations like divisions and corps, while the ones in the “staff” stream are relegated to administrative duties.
There has been at least one well-known case of a military secretary to the President, who is the supreme commander of the armed forces, getting preferential treatment in the past. The then military secretary was promoted to the rank of Lt-General by creating a special vacancy for him against all norms.
The government order in Major General Khosla’s case was issued on December 29, just two days before he was due to retire. “The competent authority has approved extension of service of Major General Anil Khosla for a period of one month beyond his retirement date of Dec 31, 2017,” it said.
Source : timesofindia