Tribunal acquits IAF officer dismissed for soldier`s death
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Last Updated: Wednesday, May 19, 2010, 18:55
New Delhi: A Wing Commander, who was jailed and dismissed from the Air Force by a Court Martial in the case of death of a soldier 12 years ago, was acquitted by the Armed Forces Tribunal here saying the "findings and convictions" were not sustainable.

After being convicted by a General Court Martial of four charges, including that of culpable homicide not amounting to murder and wrongly confining the deceased soldier, Wg Cdr M S Mander was jailed for two years and dismissed from the IAF.

"In the absence of evidence, the case against the appellant-accused cannot stand. The findings and convictions are not sustainable," the Tribunal Bench headed by Justice S S Kulshreshta said in its order.

Mander along with four other officers was punished by the GCM for their involvement in the death of an Army soldier Signalman Girje, who had allegedly misbehaved with wife of one of the convicted officers.

The Tribunal said as per the admitted position, Girje was being taken by the accused persons for interrogation. He made an attempt to run away, but was caught. He was again taken in a gypsy, from which he jumped off sustaining multiple injuries resulting to his death.

"The prosecution has been able to establish only the fact that the deceased was seen in the company of the appellant-accused and other co-accused. No overt act was attributed to the appellant-accused," the Bench said.

Setting aside the GCM order, the Bench said that Mander "shall be deemed to be in service till the date of superannuation in the present rank and be entitled to pension thereafter."


First Published: Wednesday, May 19, 2010, 18:55

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