SC frowns upon Army lethargy against corruption

Discussion in 'Indian Army' started by Singh, Feb 17, 2012.

  1. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

    Feb 23, 2009
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    NEW DELHI: An Army Court of Inquiry found an Ordnance Depot commandant responsible for wrongful purchases worth Rs 2.2 crore causing a loss of over Rs 60 lakh to the government but a three-year delay in convening a General Court Martial to try him for the offence led to the accused going scot-free.

    The Supreme Court allowed the commandant's appeal against the GCM proceedings but recorded its annoyance over the commandant and other officers, found to be responsible for the illegal purchases, going unpunished because of procedural lethargy.

    A bench of Justices Aftab Alam and Chandramauli Kumar Prasad quashed the order convening a GCM against Colonel Rajvir Singh three years after the CoI proceedings and said, "One feels sorry to see a trial on such serious charges being aborted on grounds of limitation but that is the mandate of law."

    The bench noted, "Other officers who were allegedly involved in irregular purchases for the Central Ordnance Depot, Chheoki, also seem to have got away with very light, it at all any, punishment. Major-General S P Sinha was subjected to an administrative action in which an order was passed on August 6, 2010 expressing severe displeasure (non-recordable) against him."

    It added, "Lt-Col Neeraj Gaur was finally acquitted by the GCM. Lt-Col Aloke Ghose was given severe displeasure (non-recordable) after the commanding officer found charges against him not proved. Major (now Lt-Col) M K Bawa was similarly given severe displeasure (non-recordable). Against Lt-Col Uma Shankar, no further action was taken after charges against him were not proved."

    The CoI, in its January 24, 2007 report, had indicted the appellant, Col Rajvir Singh, of flouting relevant rules in making purchases worth Rs 2.2 crore and causing a loss of Rs 60.18 lakh to the government while being posted as commandant of Central Ordnance Deport, Chheoki. Two other officers faced similar indictment.

    The CoI report, along with the recommendations of the General Officer Commanding, Madhya Bharat Area, was forwarded to the GoC-in-C on April 26, 2007. On May 7, 2007, the GOC-in-C wrote a note in the form of recommendations saying there was cogent and adequate material evidence regarding cognizable acts of commission/omission committed by various officers at Central Ordnance Deport, Chheoki.

    But the order for convening GCM was passed only on August 23, 2010 and it was immediately challenged by the appellant saying the order was time barred.

    Justice Alam, writing the judgment for the bench, said, "Reckoning from that date, the order passed by the GoC, MB Area, to convene the GCM on August 23/26, 2010 is clearly beyond the period of 3 years, barred in terms of Section 122 of the Army Act."

    SC frowns upon Army lethargy against corruption - The Times of India
  3. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Apr 17, 2009
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    Why the lethargy is the question!

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