New Delhi: Civilian supremacy over the military that is not "rooted in justice and fairness" must be "resisted", Gen V K Singh said on Tuesday, five days after retiring as Chief of the Army Staff.

While describing himself as a "firm believer" in civil supremacy over military in a democracy, Gen Singh said this supremacy "must always be rooted in the fundamental principle of justice, merit and fairness".

"Violation of this in any form must be resisted if we are to protect institutional integrity of armed forces," he said.

Reminded that the ethos of the armed forces was to obey orders of superiors, the former Chief said that the ethos was to obey "correct" orders. "If the order is wrong, stand up and say that the order is wrong".

In his first interview since retiring on May 31, Gen Singh acknowledged that his last months in office were controversial and "eventful".

But all the controversies were "manufactured" and there were "all sorts of allegations, from implied coups to communal nonsense", he said.
   
He cited two media reports in this regard, one hinting at an implied coup because of troop movements towards Delhi in January and the leakage of his letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh complaining about lack of defence preparedness.

"The coup story was the most bizarre thing" that happened during his tenure of 26 months, he said, adding that there was no such thing as "unauthorised troop movement" in the army.

That the leak of the letter was "motivated and aimed at discrediting me, is now quite obvious", he said.

The enquiry into the leak must not be "covered up" and the person behind it should be "nailed" because its amounts to treason, the former chief said.

(Agencies)

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