New Delhi: The Election Commission today said the issue of the appointment of the next Army chief is still under examination and it is yet to take a final call on it.
“The matter is with the Commission. It is still under examination,” Deputy EC Vinod Zutshi told reporters here.
Asked whether the EC has decided on the issue, he said the decision has not been taken as yet.
“There have been some reports (that EC has decided). But it is incorrect,” he said.
Sources in the Commission said the poll panel will consider the matter in the light of its March 27 order that appointments, promotions, tenders and procurements of defence forces are not covered under the Model Code of Conduct in the ongoing elections as well as any other election in the future as well as complaints from BJP that the government was rushing with the appointment of the next Chief of Army Staff.
Amid strong opposition by the BJP to Government going ahead with the process of appointing the next Army Chief, Centre referred the matter to the Election Commission, saying any decision will be taken only after getting its nod.
The matter was sent to the EC by the Defence Ministry last week though the poll panel has already said that appointments, promotions, tenders and procurements are not covered under the Model Code of Conduct in the ongoing elections as well as any other election in the future.
On why the Ministry has sent the matter to the Election Commission despite its March 27 order, highly-placed Defence Ministry sources said such matters are important and it was felt that nod of all authorities concerned should be taken before proceeding with it.
The BJP has been opposing the appointment of the next Army chief by the UPA Government, arguing that there was no hurry to do so and the matter should be left to the next government.
Army Vice Chief Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag is the front-runner for appointment to the top post which will fall vacant on July 31 after the retirement of present Army chief Gen Bikram Singh.