Lawstreet Journal

Armed Forces Tribunal Can Interfere With Court-Martial Finding If There Is Material Irregularity: Supreme Court Reinstates Army Officer

Lawstreet Journal 7 Apr 2022 2:19am

Image courtesy: Lawstreet Journal Judiciary Armed Forces Tribunal Can Interfere With Court-Martial Finding If There Is Material Irregularity: Supreme Court Reinstates Army Officer

The Hon’ble Court observed that the Armed Forces Tribunal has the jurisdiction to interfere with the finding of a Court-Martial, the Supreme Court reinstated an army officer, upholding the setting aside of his conviction in a corruption case.

The Court also observed that conviction solely based on extra-judicial confession without corroboration is unjustified.

"It could thus be seen that the extrajudicial confession is a weak piece of evidence. Unless such a confession is found to be voluntary, trustworthy, and reliable, the conviction solely on the basis of the same, without corroboration, would not be justified," a bench comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao, and BR Gavai said.

The army officer in this case was found guilty of corruption under Section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988[1], read with Section 69 of the Army Act, 1950[2], by the General Court Martial (GCM), and was sentenced to cashiering from service and one year of rigorous imprisonment. 

On appeal by the officer, the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT), Regional Bench, Kochi, set aside the General Court Martial's order of conviction and sentence.  The Armed Forces Tribunal had also directed that the officer be reinstated in service, with no pay and allowance for the period he remained out of service, but without any service break. The Armed Forces Tribunal, on the other hand, sustained the officer's conviction for a violation of good order and discipline under Section 63 of the Army Act,[3] and upheld the sentence of forfeiture of seniority… Continue Reading...


Tagged: Indian Army  
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