New Delhi: Former Military Secretary Lt
Gen Avadesh Prakash, who has been indicted by a Court of
Inquiry (COI) in the Sukna land scam, Wednesday approached the
Armed Forces Tribunal to allow him to produce witnesses before
the reconvened COI in the case.
Prakash filed a plea seeking permission to produce as
witness his realtor friend Dilip Agarwal, who is alleged to
have benefitted by the `No Objection Certificate` issued by
Army for construction of an educational institute on a piece
of land adjacent to the Sukna Base in West Bengal.
He contended that after cross-examining six witnesses
in the reconvened COI, he had sought permission to produce
Agarwal as his witness, which was rejected by the presiding
officer of the COI Lt Gen K T Parnaik.
The Army counsel opposed the petition saying that
Agarwal had already appeared before the COI and could not be
produced as defence witness again.
Army`s COI had blamed Prakash for influencing the
former 33 Corps Commander Lt Gen P K Rath for issuing the NoC.
After hearing both sides, the Tribunal Bench headed by
Justice S S Kulshreshtha reserved its order till the next
After his retirement on January 31, Prakash had
approached the Tribunal against Army`s decision to initiate
disciplinary proceedings against him and contended that Army
Rule 180, which allows Army personnel to be present if
somebody is raising questions over their military character,
was not applied.
Agreeing with Prakash`s objection over application of
Army Rule 180, Tribunal`s Principal Bench headed by Justice A
K Mathur had asked the Army to reconvene the COI in his case
and allowed the former Military Secretary to cross-examine six
witnesses, who had deposed against him in their statements.
On April 28, the Army had sought an extension of six
weeks to complete the COI proceedings in the case and is
expected to announce its verdict soon.
Besides, Prakash and Rath, Lt General Ramesh Halgali
and Maj Gen P K Sen were also indicted by a COI for their
roles in the case.