Shekhar Sinha has resigned as Robin Dhowan has been promoted ahead of him. Such
events fall in the rarest of rare category- General AS Vaidya became Army chief in 1983 ahead
general SK Sinha, and Air Chief Marshal SK Mehra became IAF chief by
superseding Air Marshal MM Singh
government, on Monday, approved the “voluntary retirement” of Vice
Admiral Shekhar Sinha, who had put in his papers after Admiral Robin
Dhowan superseded him to become Navy chief last week, even as the Army
commanders’ conference kicked off amid uncertainty over its own line of
The Navy is now headed for a reshuffle in its top brass, with the two
crucial posts of vice-chief and WNC (Western Naval Command) chief becoming vacant. The force’s
line of succession, of course, has also gone for a complete toss, with
present National Defence College commandant Vice Admiral Sunil Lamba now
slated to succeed Admiral Dhowan as the Navy chief in May 2016.
The defence ministry felt that Vice Admiral Sinha had to take his share
of the blame for the recent string of warship mishaps under the WNC.
This came after Admiral D K Joshi owned “moral responsibility”for the
accidents and quit as the Navy chief on February 26 — a resignation
which was accepted by the MoD with unseemly haste.
MOD’s junking of the seniority principle has sparked some concern in
military circles because successive governments have almost always stuck
to it in appointing service chiefs. The chain of seniority in Indian
military is considered virtually sacrosanct, with supersession being