Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Thursday ordered a CBI probe against two serving Major Generals of the Indian Army for allegedly owning assets disproportionate to their known source of income.
Maj Gen Ashok Kumar and Maj Gen SS Lamba will face the probe, according to CNN-IBN.
This is first such probe ordered against serving officers by the government, India Today said.
"The Defence Ministry has forwarded to CBI complaints received against Maj Gen Ashok Kumar and Maj Gen S S Lamba and has sought a reply," defence sources said on Thursday, adding that the government will not tolerate corruption at any level. The CBI will now look into the complaints and report back to the ministry.
Ironically both the officers had been awarded the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM) last year. It is a military honour given to recognise "distinguished service of an exceptional order".
Giving a background to the case, sources said that a meeting of the Special Promotion Board of the Army was held in 2015 to fill up the vacancy of three Lieutenant Generals for which about 33 officers were considered.
A set of names cleared by the Board was sent to the Defence Ministry.
However, following the meeting of the Board, a series of complaints against some officers surfaced, many of which were being circulated on the social media too.
Taking cognizance of the matter, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar himself looked into the issue.
It was found that one of the two officers, against whom the ministry has roped in the agency, had faced a CBI inquiry few years back over allegations of corruption in a project undertaken by Border Roads Organisation, sources said.
The CBI did not find enough evidence for criminal prosecution. "They suggested that this does not fall in the ambit of criminality, it falls in the ambit of disciplinary procedure guidelines", they added.
"BRO is a mixed cadre organisation. The matter came to the Army. The Army said that the act pertained to civilian issues and hence action cannot be taken up by them. The matter got tossed from here to there as army disciplinary proceeding is different from that of the civilians," the sources said, adding the actual proceedings have not started.
In the meantime, his promotion came up and he got the Discipline and Vigilance (DV) clearance since there was no formal proceedings against him.
With inputs from PTI