Defence Ministry orders joint secretary-level probe into alleged forgery in top level Coast Guard promotion

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Representative Image

New Delhi (India), September 6 (ANI): Taking strong measures against charges of forgery in records of officials being considered for promotion to the second-highest rank in the Indian Coast Guard, the Defence Ministry has ordered a probe at the Joint Secretary-level to investigate the matter.

The Rajnath Singh-led Defence Ministry ordered the probe into the allegations of forgery in records of Inspector General-rank officers being considered for promotion to the Additional Director General.

"After the matter was brought to the notice of the topmost functionaries of Defence Ministry, the promotion board was scrapped and internal inquiry at the Joint Secretary-level has been ordered to investigate the charges," Defence Ministry sources said here.

Defence Ministry officials confirmed that a probe was going on into the allegations but declined to comment any further on the matter.

Both Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar have adopted a zero-tolerance policy towards corruption of any kind in the ministry and strict actions have been taken against erring officials in the past too.

Sources said the issue started in July when the promotion board for one vacancy of Additional Director General-rank post was held.

It is alleged that there was a discrepancy in the marks awarded to the respective officers in the documents presented before the board and the original documents in Defence Ministry records. The forgery, it is alleged, would have resulted in the promotion of a junior officer to the higher rank.

The Defence Ministry's Department of Defence is the parent ministry of the Indian Coast Guard while the other three services are now looked after by the Department of Military Affairs under Chief of Defence Staff.

If the charges of forgery are proved, this may even lead to the dismissal of officials as per the provisions of the Indian Coast Guard Act.

The Indian Coast Guard is the youngest force under the Defence Ministry and got its cadre officer as Director-General under the Narendra Modi government in 2016. The force was earlier commanded by Vice Admirals from the Indian Navy. (ANI)

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