Court-martial against army general in Sukna land scam (Lead)August 20th, 2010 - 8:58 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Aug 20 (IANS) The Indian Army has ordered the court-martial of a lieutenant general for wrongdoing in the transfer of a 71-acre tea estate adjacent to the Sukna military station near Siliguri in West Bengal to a private dealer in what has come to be known as the Sukna land scam.
Lt. Gen. G.K. Rath, the former commander of the 33 Corps, will face the legal action for allegedly giving a no-objection certificate (NoC) to real estate developer Dilip Agarwal for constructing an educational institute on land belonging to Indian Army, sources told IANS.
They said the orders for convening of the court martial have been issued and the proceedings will begin Aug 30.
The sources said the legal proceedings - to be headed by a three-star officer - follow as the summary of evidence (SoE) recorded against Rath found grounds for continuing disciplinary proceedings against him.
The court of inquiry alleged that the general had issued the NoC to the private realtor with an “intent to defraud”.
The Delhi High Court had earlier refused to give any relief to Rath, who had challenged the initiation of the court of inquiry against him in the over Rs.300 crore land scam.
A court of inquiry had indicted Rath and three other general-rank officers, including former military secretary Lt. Gen. Awadesh Praksh, Lt. Gen. Ramesh Halgali and Maj. Gen. P.K. Sen for issuing the NoC to Agarwal.
Summary of evidence recording against Prakash is on in Kolkata from July 19.
The court of inquiry had recommended administrative action — a censure to dismissal from service — against Halgali and Sen.
Court-martial can even lead to imprisonment and being cashiered from service, which entails loss of rank, decorations and all retirement benefits, depending on the severity of charges.
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Tags: administrative action, army general, army sources, crore, delhi high court, disciplinary proceedings, educational institute, indian army, land scam, legal proceedings, lieutenant general, military secretary, military station, objection certificate, private dealer, real estate developer, retirement benefits, siliguri, tea estate, west bengal