Gen M.M. Naravane’s statement comes days after two Army personnel, including a major, was arrested in connection with the Army recruitment exam paper leak

New Delhi: Taking a tough stand against corruption, Army chief Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane on Tuesday said that the force has zero-tolerance towards those who use wrong practices to join the Army and the services of those found to have done so can be terminated, even after 20 years of service. “There have been few instances, both in the recruitment of soldiers where question papers had leaked out and in the selection process for officer cadets where there was connivance between staff at Services Selection Board (SSB). Both cases came to light because of our own internal probe,” the Army Chief told ANI.

“No matter when such misdeeds come to light anybody who enrolled or got selected through improper means his services can be terminated anytime whether it is during training, service or 20 years later,” he said.

Asserting that he will not tolerate such incidents, General Naravane said: “We will not tolerate any such incidents and we will come down heavily on whoever tries to malign Army through very incorrect activities. There is no question of shielding anybody who is indulging in such kind of malpractices.”

On handing over the paper leak case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the Army Chief said: “When these cases came to light we realised that there are other parties involved, civilians involved, transactions made to a bank, call records that need to be looked into. We do not have the authority to do this kind of investigation. So we decided to give it to CBI.”

Appealing to youth to not fall prey to such activities, he said: “Do not fall prey to these middlemen who keep making these false promises. Get selected on your own merit and be in Army with a clean chit.”

General Naravane’s statement comes days after two Army personnel, including a major, was arrested in connection with the recent Army recruitment exam paper leak.

Pune Police had arrested an Army officer of Major rank from Delhi. He was produced before Pune court where the court has granted his police custody till March 15.

The Army Relations Recruitment exam scheduled for February 28 was cancelled after the alleged paper leak. Earlier in a joint operation with Military Intelligence of the Indian Army, Pune City Police’s crime branch had arrested several accused of running a recruitment scam in various parts of the country.

Till now a total of 10 accused have been arrested in the case by Pune city police with two separate FIRs registered against two Major rank officers of the Indian Army, two serving defence personnel, a defence civilian and several retired soldiers along with some owners of pre-military training institutes.