Sukna scam: Lt Gen Prakash`s plea turned down

The Armed Forces Tribunal on Friday turned down former Military Secretary Lt Gen Avdesh Prakash`s plea to allow his realtor friend as a witness in the reconvened Court of Inquiry (CoI) in the Sukna land scam case.

Last Updated: Jun 04, 2010, 11:41 AM IST

New Delhi: The Armed Forces Tribunal on Friday turned down former Military Secretary Lt Gen Avdesh Prakash`s plea to allow his realtor friend as a witness in the reconvened Court of Inquiry (CoI) in the Sukna land scam case.

"Calling prosecution witness as defence witness is
uncalled for. Prosecution witness cannot be juxtaposed as
defence witness," the Tribunal bench headed by Justice SS
Kulshreshtha said here.

Lt Gen Prakash, who has been indicted by a CoI in the
Sukna land scam, had approached the Tribunal on Wednesday to
allow him to produce the witnesses before the reconvened CoI
in the case.

Prakash had filed a plea seeking permission to produce
as witness his realtor friend Dilip Agarwal, who is alleged to
have benefited by the `No Objection Certificate` issued by
the Army for construction of an educational institute on a
piece of land adjacent to the Sukna Base in West Bengal.

The Army counsel had opposed the petition, saying that
Agarwal had already appeared before the CoI and could not be
produced as a defence witness again.

Army`s COI had blamed Prakash for influencing the
former 33 Corps Commander Lt Gen P K Rath for issuing the NoC.

After hearing both sides, the Tribunal Bench had
reserved its order till the next hearing.

After his retirement on January 31, Prakash had
approached the Tribunal against Army`s decision to initiate
disciplinary proceedings against him and contended that Army
Rule 180, which allows Army personnel to be present if
somebody is raising questions over their military character,
was not applied.

PTI