M A I N   N E W S

Tehelka episode
Prosecutor cashiered, gets four-year RI
Faced nine charges of contempt, disobedience
Vijay Mohan/TNS

Chandigarh, September 28
A lieutenant colonel who had secured the conviction of a brigadier and a colonel in the Tehelka episode has now himself been convicted on several charges of professional and personal misconduct, it is learnt.

A GCM has cashiered Lt Col Sanjay Sitanshu and sentenced him to four years rigorous imprisonment (RI) after finding him guilty of all nine charges leveled against him, sources said. The trial, presided by Brig S.K. Panigrahi, had commenced at Kota in January and concluded yesterday. The GCM’s verdict is subject to confirmation by the convening authority.

Colonel Sitanshu had faced six charges of contempt of court, two of disobedience of lawful command and one of overstaying leave. According to sources, he had allegedly used unparliamentary language and showed improper conduct during two separate courts martial of a lieutenant colonel and an NCO in which he was the defending officer.

During pre-trial proceedings against him, he had been ordered by his commanding officer to proceed from Hisar to another unit on two different occasions, which he refused. He was thereafter taken into custody and moved to Kota under escort. Earlier, he was supposed to report at N-Area in Chandigarh on completion of his leave but delayed his arrival by about 10 days. His leave had been extended four times before it finally expired, sources said. The defence could not be contacted for its comments on the trial. Colonel Sitanshu had been detailed as the prosecuting officer in the courts martial of a brigadier and a colonel who had been allegedly caught on tape demanding and accepting bribes in the a sting operation conducted by web-portal Tehelka’s operatives posing as arms dealers.

Three officers were convicted by separate courts martial held at Chandimandir, Patiala and Ferozepur. The colonel was awarded for years RI on four charges in January 2005, while the brigadier was awarded two years RI on three charges in October 2005. A major general, who was the senior-most to be tried in the episode, got one-year RI.





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