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