Friday, July 20, 2018

Resilient corruption

Global Military Justice Reform contributor Wing Commander (Ret) UC Jha writes here for Daily News & Analysis on resilient corruption in the Indian Army. Excerpt:
Not known to many even in the military, the Regulations for the Army contain an important provision on reporting corruption. Paragraph 317 of the Regulations provides, “It is the obligatory duty of every person in military employ to bring at once to the notice of his immediate superior, or the next superior where the immediate superior officer is involved, any case of dishonesty, fraud or infringement of orders that may come to his knowledge.” However, despite this obligation, very few corrupt and illegal practices are reported because Section 52(a) of the Army Act acts as a deterrent. It states that any military person who makes a false accusation against anyone subject to the Act, shall be court-martialed and awarded a punishment of up to five years’ imprisonment. Even if the military takes up investigation of an allegation of corruption, the court is assembled by the commanding officer and his trusted subordinates. Careerism and personal gain usually prompt inquiry officers to give reports that suit the commander. In the end, it is the person who reports a case of corruption who faces the wrath of the military hierarchy.

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