Two senior Navy officers to face court martial

Last Updated: Sunday, April 10, 2011 - 15:16

New Delhi: Two senior officers of Navy`s
skydiving team will face court martial after the Board of
Inquiry accused them of irregularities in management of
government funds.

"Commander N Rajesh Kumar and Lt Cdr Mahesh Birajdar
were found guilty of the charges levelled against them in the
BoI and disciplinary action was recommended against them. Their
Summary of Evidence (SoE) has also been completed and their
court martial proceedings will begin soon," Navy sources said here.

The inquiry against the two senior-most members of the
Navy`s skydiving team had probed several cases of monetary
bungling by the two officers which were allegedly carried out
by the duo on the pretext of taking part in adventure sports
activities.

However, the officers have challenged the disciplinary
action against them in the Armed Forces Tribunal, saying they
were not even given opportunity to defend themselves in the
probe.

"We have appealed in the Tribunal against the
disciplinary action against Rajesh and Birajdar as navy
authorities have violated the Navy Rule 205 which makes it
mandatory for the Navy to record statements of the witnesses
in presence of officers or men whose military reputation is
being questioned," Commodore Sukhjinder Singh, counsel of the
two officials said here.

He said the authorities had not even provided the
convening order of the BoI to the two officers, who have been
attached with the Navy headquarters here for the last two
years without work.

The two officers have written to the Navy Chief’s
office also to get the copies of the BoI against them but they
have not been provided these documents so far.

"Even the SoE documents have not been provided to
them," Singh said.

In the petition filed by Rajesh Kumar, it has been
alleged that one Lt Cdr SK Karthikeyan, on whose complaint
the BoI was initiated, has conspired against them as he was
reprimanded by him for his "immoral activities" abroad where a
foreigner lady was allegedly molested by two Navy sailors.

They have contended that the Navy authorities have
started the probe against them on Karthikeyan`s complaint
without taking into account the fact that he himself had
"defrauded the state" of lakhs of rupees in producing and
signing fake monetary claims for foreign tours on behalf of
the entire contingent.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, April 10, 2011 - 15:16

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