Supreme Court of India yesterday halted court martial proceedings against a commandant of an Ordnance Depot in the Army invoking Army Act Sec 122 Which States :-
122.Period of limitation for trial:- (1) Except as provided by the subsection (2), no court-martial of any person subject to this Act for any offence shall be commenced after the expiry of a peiod of three years from the date of such offence. (2) The provision of subsection(1) shall not apply to a trial for an offence of desertion or fradulent enrolment or for any offences mentioned in section 37. (3) In the computation of the period of time mentioned in subsection (1) any time spent by such person as a prisoner pf war, or in enemy territory , or in eveading arrest after the commission of offence , shall be excluded. (4) No trial for an offence of desertion on active service or of fraudulent enrolment shall be commenced if the person in question , not being an officer, has subsequently to the commission of the offence , served continuously in an exemplary manner for not less than three years with any pertion of the regular Army.
The commandant of an Ordnance Depot Swindled appx 60 lakhs from a deal. Cof I enquiry conducted by his Commanding Officer who recommended no trial. The superior auth perused the documents and ordered investigation afresh. This time also the officer conducting the investigation gave the accused a clean chit but the superior authority found it a fit case to convene a General Court Martial against the accused. It was petitioned in the Armed forces Tribunal which rejected the plea of the accused to stall the GCM. The trial begun.
The accused went to the Supreme Court which admitted the case in favour of the Accused citing time gap of three long years in conveninga trial against the accused. Law is Ass sorry Law. And Army Act 122 was referred to order Army Auth to stop GCM .Look at the way the commanding officers gave the accused clean chits and delayed the proceedings. Look at the way someone who was responsible to convene the Trial slept and conveve only after the lapse of that stipulated 3 years specified in AA 122. Look at those JAG Br ( Army) lawyers who could master mind and infer that URCs are private ventures hence not instrumentality of the states and hence out of RTI Act 2005. Were they sleeping or too busy helping Army Commanders to get the URCs declared private ventures by bribing judges.
Whatever may be I donot hold the judges in high esteem and I have my reasons. Thre may be lots of money changing hands. Lot many more at stake.
Army Auth if it is serious must appeal against the verdict and at the same time get the provision of Army Rule 122 immediately. Dishonest officer must be dismissed from service using the power of the Supreme Commander to set things right provided they are nothe one who bought that judgement.