SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS



M A I N   N E W S

Lt General gets 3-yr RI in ration scam
SK Sahni guilty on 6 charges of professional misconduct
Vijay Mohan & Kusum Arora
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 18
The General Court Martial (GCM) trying Lt Gen SK Sahni, former Director General, Supplies and Transport, for irregularities in the procurement of dry rations today cashiered him from service and sentenced him to three years rigorous imprisonment.

This is for the first time that an officer of the rank of lieutenant general has been sentenced to cashiering and imprisonment for professional impropriety. Cashiering means dismissal from service without terminal benefits, including pension and gratuity. Sahni was also the first lieutenant general in the Armyís history who went on trial before a GCM.

The verdict, however, is subject to confirmation by Chief of the Army Staff and thereafter by the Defence Minister. The court, presided over by Lt Gen Jatinder Singh, had convened in August last. He was held guilty on six of the nine charges of professional impropriety levelled against him. In his defence, he had pleaded not guilty on the grounds that there was no evidence on record against him and had contended procedural lapses in the proceedings.

He had been under arrest since July 31 when his trial commenced at Jalandhar. He faced charges under Sections 52 and 63 of the Army Act for intent to defraud and acts prejudicial to military discipline. These include reversing the tendering process of procurement of pulses, overlooking recommendations of sampling of stocks, omitting to ensure detailed investigations into lapses, failing to ensure checks against the presence of toxic substance in supplies and not freezing such stocks to prevent consumption by troops and failing to ensure timely completion of contracts. The charges also include failure to initiate recovery of the cost of 979 metric tonne of sub-standard rations, of which about 220 tonne was reportedly consumed by the troops.

According to sources familiar with the Armyís legal establishment, so far 16 officers of the rank of lieutenant general have faced disciplinary or administrative procedures, though all officers did not end up facing action. There have also been known cases where some very senior officers were asked to put in their papers after some misconduct on their part came to light.

Lt Gen PK Rath, recently faced severe reprimand and 15 years loss of service for the purpose of pension while disciplinary proceedings, which may entail a court martial, are underway against former Military Secretary Lt Gen Avadesh Prakash. The case for his trial is reportedly under consideration by the GOC-in-C, Eastern Command. Both these officers were associated with the Sukna land scam in West Bengal.

General Sahniís case had come to light in 2005 along with that of Lt Gen SK Dahiya, also an Army Service Corps officer of the same seniority. Gen Dahiya, who along with several other officers was held blameworthy for lapses in the procurement of frozen meat for troops, had faced administrative action. A court of inquiry into both these cases was conducted by Headquarters, Western Command, Chandimandir.

General Sahniís case had seen long legal wrangling before the Delhi High Court as well as the Armed Forces Tribunal. He had consistently challenged the proceedings against him. Earlier, citing procedural lapses, the High Court had quashed the original court of inquiry that had held him blameworthy, but had given the Army liberty to initiate fresh proceedings against him.

Back

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cashiered from service

Lt Gen SK Sahni, former Director General, Supplies and Transport, was facing trial for irregularities in the procurement of dry rations and has been held guilty on six of the nine charges

Charges against him included overlooking recommendations of sampling of stocks, failing to ensure checks against the presence of toxic substance in supplies and not freezing such stocks to prevent consumption by troops

GCM verdict, however, is subject to confirmation by Chief of the Army Staff and thereafter by the Defence Minister. Heís the first lieutenant general in the Armyís history against whom court martial proceedings were initiated

Back

 



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |