Army rules violated in Sukna case: former military secy

Lt Gen Avadesh Prakash challenges punitive action against him

PTI | February 4, 2010



Former Military Secretary Lt Gen Avadesh Prakash, who is facing court martial in the Sukna land scam, on Thursday challenged the punitive action against him, saying Army rules were violated in the case.

He approached the Armed Forces Tribunal, seeking quashing of the charges under the Army Act 123 and his attachment to the Western Command.

Prakash alleged that the Court of Inquiry (COI) conducted by Eastern Command in the case had violated the Army Rule 180, according to which the affected officer has to be given an opportunity to cross-examine the witness in COIs.

Counsel Jyoti Singh appearing for Prakash said all the 14 witnesses in the COI registered their original statements in Prakash's absence, without giving him a chance to cross-examine them while justifying for quashing of the disciplinary action against him.

According to the Army Act 123, the personnel are liable to be tried and punished till three years after retirement.

Singh also questioned the "sudden change of heart" of Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor in ordering disciplinary action against Prakash after serving him a showcause notice for administrative action, for which a reply was filed on January 22.

Singh contended that as per the Army Headquarter's policy, the Army Chief can't revert back to disciplinary action once he has ordered administrative action against any personnel in any case.

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