HC orders release of court martialled Navy Cdr
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Last Updated: Tuesday, December 13, 2011, 20:52
  
New Delhi: An Indian Navy Commander, court martialled and sentenced to two years in jail for his alleged role in a case of financial bungling, was on Tuesday ordered released by the Delhi High Court.

A bench of justices Anil Kumar and Sudarshan Mishra directed the Indian Navy to release Commander N Rajesh Kumar on a personal bond of Rs 50,000 and stayed the Navy's December 6 court martial order sentencing the officer.

The court gave its order on a plea by Commander Kumar contending that he had been sentenced and jailed in violation of its November 24 order which had barred the Navy from pronouncing its court martial verdict unless his plea to the high court against his court of inquiry (CoI) is decided.

Appearing for Commander Kumar, a member of the maritime force's high-profile skydiving team, senior advocate Meet Malhotra told the bench that the Navy had also ignored his client's argument that he was not given an opportunity to defend himself during the probe.

Commander Kumar was court martialled and convicted along with another officer, Lieutenant Commander Mahesh Birajdar, also a member of the skydiving team, on similar charges.

The duo had earlier been found prima facie guilty of financial bungling, on the pretext of taking part in adventure sports activities, by the Naval board of inquiry.

The two were the senior-most members of the Navy's adventure team with a series of national record-breaking jumps, including a "freefall" over the South Pole in 2006. They were alleged to have used government funds for personal reasons like availing an extended vacation in Paris.

PTI


First Published: Tuesday, December 13, 2011, 20:52


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