Sunday, July 14, 2019

Supreme Court of India reiterates that Summary Court Martial can only be held in emergent and exceptional cases

The Supreme Court of India has once again held that a Summary Court Martial (SCM) can only be pressed into service in exceptional circumstances and emergent situations.

The case involved a soldier, Randhir Singh, who was dismissed from service by way of a verdict by a SCM and his appeal against the same was also dismissed by the Armed Forces Tribunal.

While challenging the order of the Court Martial, it was contended by the soldier that there was no urgent need of holding an SCM when the event was of the month of August 2007 while the SCM ultimately convened in May 2008.

The Supreme Court, finding weight in the argument, has converted the dismissal of the soldier into discharge with pensionary benefits. The entire decision of the Court can be accessed here

The Court has relied upon its earlier verdict wherein it was held that an SCM is an exceptional tool and cannot be used in routine cases where a proper trial is feasible.

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