`Court martial sentence to ex-Brigadier too harsh`

Last Updated: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 - 19:11

New Delhi: A former Brigadier, who was
dismissed from the Army for illegal sale of canteen liquor,
will not have to undergo rigorous imprisonment, as the Armed
Forces Tribunal today set aside the Court Martial order saying
the punishment was "too harsh".

The Tribunal, however, upheld R P Singh`s dismissal
from service and said that this punishment was sufficient.

A General Court Martial (GCM) had ordered "cashiering
and rigorous imprisonment for nine months" for Singh, former
Brigadier, in December 2003 on seven charges including for his
role in selling illegal liquor as Commander of the Delhi-based
35 Infantry Brigade.

Providing partial relief to the former officer,
Tribunal`s Principal Bench headed by Justice A K Mathur
said, "Nine months rigorous imprisonment will be too harsh,
therefore, we modify the sentence to this extent and maintain
the order of dismissal awarded by the Court Martial."

Of the seven charges against the officer, the Tribunal
said four charges were established.

The charges proved against him include that of causing
wrongful gain upon himself by purchasing 4290 bottles
amounting to Rs 4.28 lakh from 35 Infantry Brigade CSD Canteen
well knowing that he was not entitled to such quantity, the
Tribunal said.

Other charges proved against him were of the officer
behaving in a manner unbecoming of his position and making
false statements while giving details of the financial
accounts of canteen stores.

Expressing satisfaction over the judgement, Army`s
counsel Col R Balasubramanium (retd) said, "I am satisfied as
the Tribunal has maintained the order of his cashiering from
service."

The officer was first awarded "severe reprimand and
forfeiture of service for 12 years in pension" but later on
the General Officer Commanding 2 Corps found the punishment to
be lenient and ordered reassembly of the GCM, which awarded
him nine months imprisonment and cashiering from Service.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 - 19:11

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