Jammu: An Army Lieutenant Colonel has been
dismissed from service and awarded three years` rigorous
imprisonment by a General Court Martial (GCM) which found him
guilty of irregularities in procurement of milk powder.
The GCM found Lt Col Kuldeep Singh of Military Farms
guilty of irregularities in the procurement of skimmed milk
powder worth over Rs 10 crore in Northern Command in Jammu
and Kashmir during `Operation Parakram` and dismissed him from
service on Wednesday.
Ministry of Defence PRO Lt Col Biplav Nath said that
Lt Col Singh was cashiered and awarded three years` rigorous
imprisonment by the GCM.
The GCM`s order in this case in subject to confirmation
by the authority concerned, Col Nath said.
Lt Col Singh, who was facing 25 charges including
irregularities in purchase of skimmed milk powder, was found
guilty in 15 charges by the GCM presided over by the Commander
of Artillery Brigade, Brig S P Mehta at Akhnoor-based 10
Division headquarters on August 18, Army sources said.
Another Army officer of Colonel rank, who was then posted
as Director of Military Farms, is also facing a GCM at Narian
Brigade headquarters for failure of supervision and technical
inspection in this scam.
The GCM was convened after a Court of Inquiry (COI) fixed
25 charges including that of intent to defraud, irregularities,
acts prejudicial to good order and military discipline under
Army Act against Lt Col Singh and 17 charges including failure
to exercise requisite supervision, not taking due action and
failure to carry out technical inspection against a Colonel.
The purchase of 1526 metric tonnes of skimmed milk
powder were made through local market in violation of all
rules by the Lt Col during Operation Parakram between January
2001 and August 2003, sources said.
There was multi-fold increase in the demand of the milk
during Operation Parakram. Local purchase of skimmed milk was
made despite adequate stocks in Army stores and milk powder
was illegally shifted to other commands without due sanction
from Northern Command, the sources said.