New Delhi: Rhea Verma, the lawyer who has dragged the Modi government to the Armed Forces Tribunal for overlooking her father, Vice-Admiral Bimal Verma, for the post of Indian Navy chief, has allegedly been living at a Naval officers’ mess in the heart of the national capital for more than a decade in violation of rules.
Rhea has been living at the Navy establishment — Kota House — since 2008 along with her sister, sources told ThePrint. However, Rhea told ThePrint that she had moved in only “in 2013″.
Her sister, she said, was staying there before her — first at the women’s hostel and later at the transit house. The sources said Rhea’s sister moved out of the mess last year after she got married.
The Kota House, with its different housing accommodations — women’s hostel, transit house and suites — is meant for officers in transit or for families of officers who get posted out of Delhi.
Of these, the hostel is meant for children of officers studying in the national capital for the duration of their education. The other two accommodations are temporary and usually allowed to be used for a maximum period of three months, the sources said.
However, the family of the Vice-Admiral has been staying at the mess for nearly 11 years.
Vice-Admiral Verma heads the Andaman and Nicobar Command.
“The women’s hostel is only meant for those who are studying and not for someone who is working. The transit accommodation is meant for a limited period as a short-term arrangement,” a Navy officer who didn’t wish to be identified told ThePrint.
“But then rules are bent when senior officers come into play.”
Vice-Admiral Verma did not respond to a text message from ThePrint which asked him to comment on how his daughters have been staying at Kota House for much longer than is allowed. Verma did not respond to a call from ThePrint either.
The Indian Navy also didn’t respond to an emailed questionnaire, including queries about the rules under which the transit house has been allotted for such a period.
ThePrint also reached the Ministry of Defence for comment but there was no response until the time of publishing this report.
This report will be updated when they respond.
‘Allotted in my mother’s name’
Speaking to ThePrint, Rhea said the transit house has been allotted to her mother and she is staying with her.
“My mother is a GoAir employee and the house is allotted in her name. I am staying with her. A CNC (Flag officer Commanding in Chief) is entitled to retain a house in Delhi. All Army commanders do,” said Rhea.
Asked about the duration of her stay, Rhea said it was her elder sister who first stayed in the women’s hostel and she had moved in only in 2013 into the transit house.
Vice-Admiral Verma was appointed as the CNC in 2016. He has never been posted in the national capital since 2008.