The Indian army told the Supreme Court on Wednesday that they need younger commanders in their armed forces like Pakistan and China, NDTV reported.
The army made the claim at a hearing which aimed to secure a stay on the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) order that quashed a controversial promotion policy in the Indian army. The policy reportedly allows for preferential promotions to officers from select arms.
The Indian top court, referring to a group of officers that had approached the AFT seeking scrapping of the promotion policy, said ”the country cannot afford to have disgruntled, frustrated and demoralised people in the army.”
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, on behalf of the army argued that while the average age of colonels in India is 41 years, colonels in Pakistan’s and Chinese armies fall under the age bracket of 37 years, while in Israel it is 32 years.
“For the Siachen front, the country needs younger colonels who can work there,” Rohatgi argued.
The top court rebutted Rohatgi’s argument, stating that there is no guarantee the next war will be in Siachen and could instead be in the least expected places.
“The policy is based on the recommendations of Ajay Vir Singh Committee which aims at reducing the age of battalion commanders,” Rohtagi told the court.
The Army had erroneously appointed officers of the support and supply line units on pro rata basis to 750 combat positions, which needs to be corrected as “those who face bullets on the war front must get benefits,” Rohatgi said.