Major General Ashok Raj Sigdel has been promoted to lieutenant general ensuring that he will become the Nepal Army (NC) chief the next year.
The Cabinet meeting on Thursday has promoted Sigdel to lieutenant general as per the recommendation of NA Headquarters. Sigdel is now set to become NA chief after retirement of Prabhuram Sharma on September 9, 2024. He was promoted to major general in September 2019.
Major General Tara Dhwaj Pandey, who was first in line to succeed Sharma, had resigned on November 9 following controversy about his age paving the way for promotion of Sigdel in a way to become the next NA chief.
A complaint accusing Sigdel of forging his date of birth was lodged with the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) on November 21 but the CIAA sent the complaint to the Defense Ministry pointing that the NA is beyond its jurisdiction.
The Defense Ministry pointed that Sigdel’s age was investigated in 2019 and the dates of birth on his citizenship certificate and educational certificates were found to be same. The complainant had pointed that the dates of birth on his educational certificates and college records were different.
The unnamed complainant had claimed that Sigdel had corrected his date of birth to February 1, 1967 from April 1, 1967 maintained in the Tribhuvan University records on August 15, 2019 adding that his date of birth was April 1, 1967 as per his college records.
But an investigation committee formed by the Defense Ministry had given him a clean chit pointing that a letter issued by the college on August 18, 1986 had mentioned his date of birth to be February 1, 1967. The committee had said that the college file had kept the wrong date of birth, and instructed the college to change the date on the file, according to a ministry source.