Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A lively argument in an old case

Judging by this account, it must have been a lively argument in the Supreme Court of India's consideration of the appeal of a former army officer. The Tribune reports:
The Supreme Court today criticised the Army for arresting its own serving officer, who was court martialled for his act of reporting alleged pilferage and misuse of huge quantity of unaccounted/ unauthorised ammunitions and explosives of dangerous nature in 1998. 
The apex court questioned the arrest of the then Major Anand Kumar, who was convicted and sentenced to three years jail term by General Court Martial (GCM) in 2004. 
A Bench headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur, which admitted his appeal against the 2011 orders of Armed Forces Tribunal rejecting challenge to court martial proceedings, said, “How you (army) have arrested the officer. He was a serving Major. 
Without a warrant you jumped the wall and entered his house." 
Additional Solicitor General PS Narasimha submitted that the officer had gone on leave and had been regularly avoiding the serving of warrant and turned the people back. 
"If he is not receiving the warrant or communication, will you go and direct his arrest. Why you are using such power to arrest your own officer of a rank of Major," the bench said while noting the submission of ex-army officer's counsel Sree Prakash Sinha that he has completed his sentence and has been terminated from the service. 
Sinha, appearing for the ex-Major, alleged that in 2000 he was beaten up by Brigadier HC Chawla, then Commanding Officer (CO), who did not like his conduct in reporting the ammunition/explosives issue. 
Kumar submitted that he was also taken into close arrest by the then CO without assigning him an account of charge and was not produced before competent authority for investigation of charge as required by Army Act, Rules and Regulations.
The Armed Forces Tribunal had ruled against Major Kumar. The general court-martial itself was completed 12 years ago. Perhaps the Supreme Court's decision will comment on the unacceptability of this kind of slow justice.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are subject to moderation and must be submitted under your real name. Anonymous comments will not be posted (even though the form seems to permit them).