SC seeks details of casualties suffered by Army in last three wars

The Supreme Court Wednesday asked the government to apprise it of the percentage of casualties suffered by various branches like the Armoured Corps, Engineering, Infantry and Artillery in last three wars fought by the nation.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Wednesday asked the government to apprise it of the percentage of casualties suffered by various branches like the Armoured Corps, Engineering, Infantry and Artillery in last three wars fought by the nation.

The court, while hearing the appeal of the Defence Ministry against the Armed Forces Tribunal's decision to quash Army's 'command exit promotion' policy on the ground that it violated Article 14 (right to equality) of the Constitution, also sought a response on the issue of "batch parity" in promotion of army officers of the rank of Colonel and above belonging to various branches.

"You (Centre) give us the percentage of casualties suffered by various branches of Army in last three wars," the bench comprising Justices T S Thakur and Kurian Joseph said.

The direction came in wake of claim and counter-claim that Infantry and Artillery suffered more casualties compared to other wings like Engineering in conflict situations.

The court has now fixed the matter for further hearing on October 13 after senior advocate Salman Khurshid, appearing for some army officers, concluded his arguments alleging that the present promotion policy in Army provided an edge to officers of the Infantry and discriminated against officers belonging to other divisions.

Earlier, Meenakshi Lekhi, appearing for some Army officers, had claimed the 2009 promotion policy was faulty.

The Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh, appearing for the Centre, had opposed the submission saying that the existing policy gives "combat edge" to Army officers of some branches and it was never disputed in past.

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