Tribunal quashes court martial in case against signalman
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Last Updated: Tuesday, October 05, 2010, 13:44
New Delhi: The Armed Forces Tribunal has quashed the orders of a former Army chief and the dismissal of a soldier, who was tried twice by a Summary Court Martial (SCM) for an offence.

Signalman Sunil Kumar was dismissed by an SCM first in March 2006 for allegedly assaulting a senior officer and was sent to jail for four months in civil jail in Ambala.

After he had served a major part of his sentence, the superior authorities set aside the SCM, saying the soldier's commanding officer had no authority to try him under the Arms Act and Kumar was taken back in service, his counsel Colonel S R Kalkal said.

After a few months, the Army again filed a fresh chargesheet against Kumar on the same charges and he was again tried by an SCM, which again awarded four months imprisonment and dismissed him from service.

After the order, Kumar filed a statutory complaint against his dismissal with the then Army Chief, who rejected it.

Pointing out that the trial of the soldier twice by the SCM was a case of "double jeopardy", the Tribunal Bench headed by Justice Manak Mohta said, "We are of the view that the first trial was set aside and the applicant during his retrial was charged on the same incident under a fresh charge.

"We, therefore, direct that the second SCM and the order of dismissal along with the orders of Chief of Army staff rejecting statutory complaint, be quashed and the applicant be reinstated in service with all consequential benefit since the sentence of earlier SCM was set aside," it further observed.


First Published: Tuesday, October 05, 2010, 13:44

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