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High Court not to interefere decision of Court Martial

Raj Kumar Makkad ,
  05 July 2010       Share Bookmark

Court :
Supreme Court of India
Brief :
Irregularities - Punishment - Section 122 of the Army Act, 1950 - Respondent subjected to Court martial and inflicted with punishment of forfeiture of 8 years of service for his role in irregularities in purchasing of hygiene and chemicals - Order of punishment set aside by High Court on the ground that Court martial was time barred in view of provisions of Section 122(1) (b) of Army Act - Whether High Court was justified in upsetting findings recorded in Court martial?
Citation :
Union of India v. V.N. Singh (Decided on 06.04.2010) MANU/SC/0234/2010

Held, After expiry of period of limitation, Court martial will ordinarily have no jurisdiction to try the case. Question of limitation to be determined under section 122 of Act is a mixed question of fact and law. In exercise of writ jurisdiction under Article 226 of Constitution, ordinarily High Court will not interfere with findings of Court martial on question of limitation decided under Section 122 of Army Act. Power to initiate action in terms of Section 122(1) (b) of Army Act was only with GOC Delhi area. Date of commencement of period of limitation for purpose of GCM of Respondent, commenced on 3rd December,1994 when direction was given by GOC-in-c Western Command to initiate disciplinary action against Respondent. Plea that date of submission of report by Technical Court of Inquiry shout be treated as date from which period of limitation shall commence has no substance. High Court wrongly concluded that period of limitation expired on 4th March,1996. Respondent had failed to monitor local purchase of hygiene and chemicals but there was no mention ACR of respondent that respondent was himself responsible for irregularities in purchase of hygiene and chemicals. It was only after detailed investigation by Staff Court of inquiry that irregularities committed by respondent and his role in purchase came to light. GCM commenced Trial against Respondent within period of limitation. Impugned judgment legally unsustainable and set aside. Appeal allowed.

 

 
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Published in Labour & Service Law
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