Sukna land scam: Lt Gen Rath`s petition rejected
Shillong: The Army Court trying Lt Gen P K Rath in the Sukna land scam today rejected his petition to examine private realtor Dilip Agarwal, saying the defence was given ample opportunity to put questions to the dealer when he was a court witness.
Presiding officer I J Singh, however, took on record the letter purportedly written by Agarwal to the court claiming that Rath was innocent.
"The court has examined the letter. All issues stated in the letter were brought out when he (Agarwal) was a court witness. No additional clarification is needed," Singh ruled.
He said the court had given full opportunity to the defence to put questions to Agarwal but they declined to avail the opportunity at that time.
Rath had petitioned the court seeking to recall Agarwal and examine him to clarify "certain missing links that may have a direct bearing on the case".
Rath`s petition came after Agarwal wrote a letter to the General Court Martial (GCM) blaming Lt Gen Ramesh Halgali for issuing No Objection Certificates for construction on a piece of land adjacent to the military station.
Rath, former 33 Corps Commander, contended that in his previous appearance as a court witness, "Agarwal was not allowed to give any statement nor he was given any chance to produce any document that he claims to have possessed. So he might have resorted to write this letter to the GCM."
However, the GCM had refused to take cognisance of the letter after receiving it last week.
Responding to Rath`s plea, the Army opposed it saying that there was no such precedence of accepting last minute petitions during GCMs, sources said.
Meanwhile, the judge advocate of the court is likely to commence his summing up this evening.
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