Saturday, November 8, 2014

22 years to justice

Okay, this is a little complicated. An Indian soldier, Naik Prem Singh, is charged at a court-martial with cowardice in the face of the enemy while serving in Sri Lanka -- and acquitted. The command disapproves the proceedings. Another trial is thereupon conducted and, once again, he is acquitted. (Hats off to the members of that panel.) In the mean time, he has become superannuated as of the end of 1991. Nonetheless, in 1992 the command purports to dismiss him administratively. He sues in the High Court that year, and in due course his case is transferred to the Armed Forces Tribunal. That court has now (finally) set aside the 1992 dismissal on the ground that the soldier could not have been dismissed in 1992 since he had become superannuated in 1991 and the Army had been unable to prove its contention that it had extended his service. Here's the Hindustan Times account.

Some nice lawyering here, and some serious patience on the part of the soldier, who now gets his pension, but 22 years? Query: will the government appeal?

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