`Court martial sentence to ex-Brigadier too harsh`
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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.


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

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