Army Chief Upholds the flagship of Being Hard on Corruption

Army Chief Orders Court Martial of Military Secretary Lt Gen Avadhesh Prakash
Finally, on the last working day of Military Secretary Lieutnent General Avadhesh Kumar, the news of him to face court martial has spread like wild fire. The defence vigilance today has sent a note to the Ministry of Defence. The note had the orders of Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor for the Court Martial of one of the top military general.

Earlier General Kapoor had recommended only an administrative action against the military secretary.  But defence minister AK Antony himself took pain to have directly instructed for the court martial of the general as going soft on military secretary would have further jeopardise the image of the army, which have come under severe media criticism for widespread corruption. Three other generals and a collonel is found guilty in the court of enquiry conducted by the GoC in C Eastern Army Command Lieutnent General VK Singh. He is now been named to become the next Army Chief.

The court of enquiry had found lieutnent general PK Rath, lt gen Ramesh Halgali and Major General P Sen guilty in the 71 acre Sukna Land Scam. The land of Chumta Tea Estate falling under 33 core was given "No Objection Certificate" for the transfer to a private businessman Dilip Agrawal in the name of alleged fake franchise of Mayo college of Ajmer. It is learnt that the Military Secretary had asked Lt Gen PK Rath to give NOC in lieu of the post of  Deputy Chief of Army Staff. but after the scam came to light, his appointment got cancelled. It is learnt that the COAS General Deepak Kapoor has to write on file to proceed with CM after seeing Adjutenet General and Judge Advocate General's recommendation and apply his mind. Then summary of evidence is recorded to make chargesheet.

The Procedure of Court Martial:
A Court Martial is held only after recording of Summary of Evidence. This SoE records only the facts and no recommendations are made by it. The officer ordering SoE and only that officer can then decide if the case goes for Court Martial. The defence Minister is not empowered constitutionally to ask any officer, in the present case the COAS, to order a Court Martial. It is upto the COAS to take the decision. Only the President of India, as the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces has this power.

In the Court Martial the bench constitutes of 5 members and a Presiding Officer, who should be above the rank of the officer being Court Martialed. In the case of Lt Gen Avadhesh Prakash Court Martial, the members would be Lieutnent General Rank or could be Major General Rank, if higher rank officers not available. The presiding officer would be the rank  of General or Lt Gen higher in position.

During Court Martial the accused Avadhesh Prakash will come in the ceremonial dress but his beld would be withheld. He would not carry weapon of ammunition but will be tagged with all his madels. His pention would also be withheld. Generally the procedure of Cout Martial completes with 90 days but it is subjecte dto the availability of the bench and depositions of the witnesses. it it necessary to remmber that only those officers who fall under Army Act can only constitue the bench. After Court Martial, if Avadhesh Prakash would be found guilty then he could be jailed. But, if he feels that proper justice is not dispensed then he has right to move to the Army tribunal and Supreme Court as last resort for the relief and final justice. A convicted person is generally sent to the civil jails unlike earlier when military jails served the purpose.
Army Chief Upholds the flagship of Being Hard on Corruption Army Chief Upholds the flagship of Being Hard on Corruption Reviewed by Shailesh Kumar on 11:44:00 PM Rating: 5
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