M A I N   N E W S

3 officers, 16 others in dock for fracas in armoured unit
Vijay Mohan/TNS

Chandigarh, February 6
Over two-and-a-half years after an altercation between officers and jawans of an armoured regiment resulted in four young officers being assaulted, disciplinary proceedings in the matter continue to hang fire with the Army ordering recording of a fresh summary of evidence (SoE).

Three officers of the regiment, including the then commanding officer, eight junior commissioned officers (JCOs) and eight other ranks have been attached with an infantry battalion in Amritsar for disciplinary proceedings.

The incident took place in 45 Cavalry on May 29, 2010. A court of inquiry (CoI) headed by Brig AK Thakur, Commander of an artillery brigade, had blamed the commanding officer for ineffective command and not taking effective steps to handle the situation. The two other officers were blamed for ill-treating and beating a jawan which led to the altercation. The jawan was faring poorly during morning PT, resulting in a scuffle between him and an officer. This later led to the situation blowing up.

Based upon the findings of the CoI, a disciplinary action was ordered against the officers and jawans involved, following which the SoE was recorded. The Army ordered a fresh SoE, now underway at Amritsar, after a technical lacuna cropped up over the earlier version.

According to the tentative chargesheet issued last month, the JCOs have been blamed for failing to exercise due command and control over troops who “behaved in an unruly and undisciplined manner” resulting in the use of criminal force by them on two captains and two lieutenants. Other charges of misdemeanour and making false statements before the court of inquiry have also been levelled against some of them.

Of the eight JCOs, five have since retired and Section 123 of the Army Act was invoked to recall them for disciplinary proceedings. Sources said they were being kept under close arrest for the past several months and had moved the Delhi High Court against their detention. The case came up for hearing today and the Army will release them, provided they make themselves available for proceedings.

the case
z An altercation took place between officers and jawans of 45 Cavalry on May 29, 2010, resulting in assault on four young officers
z A court of inquiry (CoI) blamed the commanding officer for ineffective command and not taking effective steps to handle the situation
z The Army has now ordered recording of a fresh summary of evidence





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