Former army officer guilty of stealing goats, sheep: court

September 18th, 2008 - 9:57 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 18 (IANS) He was deployed to guard the border against any threat, but an army major ended up stealing goats and sheep of villagers. The Delhi High Court Thursday found the charges against him just and disposed off his appeal challenging the sentence by an army court.A division bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and M.C. Garg rejected former Major Manjeet Singh Ahluwalia’s plea to restore his service and dismissed his petition challenging the sentence of “cashiering” (removal from services) awarded by the General Court Martial (GCM) 26 years ago.

The bench accepted the submission made by Jyoti Singh, counsel for the Indian Army, that the GCM was conducted in accordance with law and there was no violation of army rules at any stage.

The case dates back to Oct 1983, when Ahluwalia was court martialled following a complaint from the Rajasthan police that the major, who was posted in Ramsar, in Barmer district and commanding officer of 116 Medium Regiment, had stolen several goats and sheep belonging to the villagers in 1982.

The officer was also sentenced to undergo two years imprisonment for the offence committed under the Army Act. After confirmation of the sentence by the secretary Ministry of Defence in 1985, the Chief of Army Staff had deducted 50 percent of his pay and allowances as a part of the punishment.

In a writ petition filed on Jan 9, 1986, the former major asked the court to set aside the October 1983 order passed by the GCM and also sought a direction to restore his job besides release of pay deducted at the time of his dismissal.

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