SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT – NEW DELHI, May 15, 2015- The Hindu
Months after Chief of Army Staff General Dalbir Singh presented a cheque of over Rs.100 crore to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund, the Army says it has no information of any such donation.
On January 15 this year, Gen. Singh presented Prime Minister Narendra Modi the cheque “raised by officers and soldiers of the Army donating a day’s salary each” on the 67th Army Day. The photo of Gen. Singh presenting the cheque is on the website of the Press Information Bureau, as is an accompanying press release.
After reading media reports about several Army men expressing unhappiness about the Gen. Singh’s decision to hand over the cheque without first taking their consent for the deduction, Dehradun-based activist Prabhu Dandriyal filed an RTI petition with the Army on March 20.
Mr. Dandriyal told The Hindu that he sought information on the whether the cheque has been deposited in the fund, details of the bank, the account head of the Army from where the money had been debited, and if the cheque was not deposited, then whether it had been returned to the Army.
On May 12, a response from Lt. Col. Rajiv Guleria, the Public Information Officer said: “…no amount on account of contributions from salary of any Army personnel has yet been donated to the Prime Minister Relief Fund. The matter is under consideration.”
Mr. Dandriyal has now sent an RTI query to the PMO. An Army spokesperson refused to comment on Thursday.