Tuesday, August 1, 2017


There was an interesting, yet sad bit of news all over the media as well as in the social media. It was about a course mate who'd gone against the tenet of "Service Before Self", the credo of the National Defence Academy where we're trained together from spring '73 to autumn '75.

Vice Admiral PK Chatterjee, while he was the Inspector General, Nuclear Safety (IGNS) was the Senior Reviewing Officer(SRO) of Commander SS Luthra. The admiral had manipulated not only the Annual Confidential Reports(ACRs), but also the reporting system in such a way that other officers considered in the same promotion board as his son-in-law were made to stand at a disadvantage.
In a historic judgement the Armed Forces Tribunal, hearing Commander SS Luthra's petition against the wrongdoing, has ordered that Vice Admiral PK Chatterjee should pay an amount of Rs.5,00,000/- (Rupees Five lakhs) as costs to the applicant Commander Luthra, which is directed to be deposited with the Principal Registrar of the tribunal within three months from today. In turn, it would be disbursed to Commander Luthra against proper receipt.”

As a follow on, there was a mail from another course mate - on our course's What'sApp group - saying that it was a matter of misinterpretation and that the tribunal had not even heard the admiral's version! He'd further advocated that the Indian Navy must take up the case and fight on the admiral's behalf. He was, actually, appealing to our sentiments to stand by a course mate who has been caught and punished for doing a wrong deed!

My take.

Actually, I've a few reminders to both the course mates - and any other who think on similar lines - which are:-

    (a) The IN is a system and a system does not take up cudgels on behalf of any
         member who's a part of that system when he's done something wrong.
    (b) On such occasions, the normal doubt that comes to the fore is that there's
         no smoke without a fire.
    (c) If Chatterjee is clear that he has done nothing wrong then he must appeal
         to the higher court and come squeaky clean. We, his course mates, will
         laud him, then, accentuating the fact that none among us of the 49th 
         course of the NDA can do anything silly, let alone tamper with a junior's 
         Annual Confidential Report(ACR).
    (d) And he'd better do it fast because his son-in-law's career progression
         is gonna go kaput! Wonder how he faces his subordinates and men that
         he leads, ever since the news has been out? 


I'm sure that Chatterjee's parents must have brought him up with the right values in life. So, where and when did he go wrong? 


Another thing that has baffled me is the compensation of Rs.5 lakhs. How does it mitigate the agony of having missed a rank?

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