SC expresses concern over illegal sale of army weapons

SC pulled up the Centre and the Rajasthan govt for not taking action against its officers allegedly involved in illegal sale of non-service pattern weapons of army personnel and issuance of licences to dubious persons.

Updated: Apr 01, 2011, 23:49 PM IST

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday pulled up
the Centre and the Rajasthan government for not taking action
against its officers allegedly involved in illegal sale of
non-service pattern (NSP) weapons of army personnel and
issuance of licences to dubious persons.

A Bench comprising Justices B Sudershan Reddy and SS
Nijjar directed them to file a status report within four weeks
on the probe against the governemnt officials, including three
IAS officers, for their alleged involvement in the scam.

"We are really shocked and surprised that the issue did
not draw serious attention from the Centre and the state
government," the bench said.

NSP weapons are issued to the army personnel for their
personal use from ordnance depots.

The court was hearing a PIL seeking a direction against
the government for not taking action against its officers
after the scam came to light in 2007 when authorities in
Rajasthan`s Ganganagar district noticed that several licenses
were issued to dubious persons, including terrorists,
smugglers and rowdy elements by local authorities without
verification.

Subsequent investigations by the government revealed a
larger racket in which several army officials, including some
holding the rank of Major Generals, IAS officers and those
belonging to Rajasthan State Service, were allegedly involved
in the sale of NSP arms to dubious elements.

The state government in its report submitted that
there were around 284 beneficiaries in the scam and they are
being interrogated.

The Defence Ministry also told the court that it has
decided to review the procedures for issuing NSP weapons to
army personnel in view of the finding that they were illegally
sold to unscrupulous elements.

PTI