Army action suffers from legal lacuna

This has reference to the news-item, “Lt-Gen faces court martial” (July 19).

A court of inquiry is just a fact-finding body. Court martial of some officers and administrative action against some others on the basis of the inquiry by the competent authority is incorrect and illegal.

Because this process should have been left to a trial court to be conducted by way of General Court Martial, where all officers should have been tried as accused.

Consequently, the Army’s reported action suffers from a legal lacuna and for this reason alone, the proceedings are liable to be set aside or quashed at the very first hearing while being subjected to judicial review.

This grave error of sifting the officers on the basis of inquiry will adversely affect the disciplinary proceedings.

It would be prudent, therefore, if all officers named in the inquiry, are subject to General Court Martial proceedings as accused for exemplary punishment.

Lt-Col G.S. GHUMAN (retd), Chandigarh



There is a saying ‘Character builds slowly, but can be torn down with incredible swiftness’. What an indecent and disgraceful act committed by a senior Army officer! Why did he do this? The nation with a billion population cannot entirely rely on such a deceitful and self-centered officer.

This officer deserves to be punished for having brought a bad name to the Army. This disturbing trend will continue unchecked if the authorities concerned do not wake up and punish such officers.

SUBER SINGH PARIHAR, Yol Cantonment (Kangra)


The Army is in the news for wrong reasons. Acts of commission and omission by some senior officers are a blot on the system. The editorial “Army is quicker” (July 22) has rightly commended the operative system within the Army for speedy action against the defaulting individuals.

Our legal system too must follow this. Politicians and bureaucrats caught or involved in similar practices are seldom punished because the legal process in the country is slow, sluggish and clumsy. Commissions of inquiry, courts etc all cause enormous delay. The political standing, stature and influence impede the pace of trials.

Judicial activism, suo motu judicial pronouncements, quick disposal of public interest litigation petitions filed for public good would go a long way in addressing the issues.

Lt-Col BACHITTAR SINGH (retd), Mohali

Protect state students

The Haryana Government is not helping the state students who passed class 12th in the state schools or those domiciled in the state. In the admission to engineering colleges, 85 per cent seats are reserved for state students in all other states except in Haryana. As Haryana has adopted the all-India quota system from this year, state students are unable to get admission in the state’s good institutions.

The state government should abolish the new admission pattern in the engineering colleges and safeguard the interests of the state students.


Enforce the ban on felling

This has reference to the news-item, “50,000 trees may face Hero Honda axe” (June 30). To attract investors, the Himachal Pradesh government is in the process of selling government land, unmindful of its threat to the environment and ecology in the state. Several investors in Badi- Barotiwala-Nalagarh industrial belt have violated such norms.

This has led to the depletion of the water table besides causing pollution and affecting the pristine environment of Kasuali hills.

The Himachal Pradesh High Court and the Supreme Court have banned felling including the ‘timber rights holders’. Yet, the government is in the process of selling 1815 bighas of demarcated protected forest land covered under the Forest Conservation Act to an automobile company.

Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh must enlighten the people about this ‘deal’ including the mysterious death of Nalagarh’s DFO.

On their part, the people must wake up, remain vigilant and become pro-active to protect the interest of the state including its environment and ecology.

Lt-Col JIWAN SHAROTRI (retd), Kasuali



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