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Sukna land scam: Court martial reassembles

Last Updated: Monday, July 11, 2011 - 13:06

Shillong: The general court martial (GCM), which convicted former 33 Corps Commander Lt Gen PK Rath in the Sukna land scam in West Bengal, reassembled here on Monday to reconsider his acquittal on one charge.

The General Officer Commander-in-Chief Eastern Command Lt Gen Bikram Singh ordered the GCM to reassemble at the 58 Gorkha Training Centre here.

"The confirming authority (Bikram Singh) ordered the GCM to reassemble tomorrow (Monday) to reconsider its findings of Rath being found not guilty of the first charge of intent to defraud," an Army officer said on Sunday.

"The GCM will relook its findings as it failed to properly appreciate the evidence on record and accorded due weightage to the evidence," the officer said.

Rath had been charged with intent to defraud the Army by issuing a no-objection certificate (NOC) to a private realtor to construct an educational institution on a 70-acre plot adjacent to the Sukna military station in Darjeeling district.

An eight-month-long court martial, comprising five senior Lieutenant Generals and headed by Lt Gen IP Singh, had found Rath guilty on three counts.

In January, the GCM against Rath, the first serving lieutenant general to be found guilty, recommended taking "off the rank and the precedence of appointment" with substantive effect from May 24, 2010.

Rath is the senior-most serving general to be hauled up for indiscipline. The sentence is expected in a couple of days from now.
Another senior officer, Lt Gen Avadesh Prakash, who was the military secretary when General Deepak Kapoor was the Army Chief and has now retired, is also expected to soon face a court martial in the case. The order for Prakash`s court martial was issued by Kapoor before his retirement in March 2010.


First Published: Monday, July 11, 2011 - 13:06

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