New Delhi: The Armed Forces Tribunal
today set aside Navy`s decision to remove an officer from the
Submarine cadre after a Russian-origin Kilo class submarine
under his command thrice met with accidents.
Commander Alok Kumar Pathak, who was commanding the
INS Sindhurakshak, had in his plea contended that the Navy
removed him from the cadre without issuing a show cause
After the third accident of the submarine under his
command in 2004, the Navy removed him from the cadre resulting
in loss of Rs 7000 per month as submariner allowance and
lowering of his Annual Confidential Report.
The Navy in its reply had submitted that Pathak was
found to be "incompetent and unsuitable" as a submarine
commander and that is why his badge was withdrawn on the
recommendations of competent authorities.
It was also submitted that the officer was found
guilty in the Court of Inquiries in all the three accidents.
Noting that though the officer was found to be guilty
on three occasions which resulted in damage to the submarine,
the Tribunal Bench headed by Justice A K Mathur said, "The
principle of natural justice requires that he should be given
at least a notice as to why his Submarine Badge be not
Allowing the petition, he said, "We set aside orders
qua the petitioner and leave it open for the respondents to
pass the fresh order in accordance with law."
In the first accident, the submarine had hit a sand
dune whereas in the second it was entangled in a fish boat. In
the third incident, Pathak was found guilty of hitting the
submarine into a Jetty causing damage to the underwater