AFT quashes charges against brigadier in ration scam

Vijay Mohan/TNS

Chandigarh, May 26
Over five years after a brigadier, along with several senior officers, was held blameworthy by a court of inquiry for alleged irregularities in the procurement of rations, the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) has quashed the ongoing court martial proceedings against him.

Brig PS Gill, who retired last year, was attached to Headquarters 15 Infantry Division, Amritsar, for trial by a general court martial (GCM). He faced seven charges under Sections 52 and 63 of the Army Act for intent to defraud and acts prejudicial to good order, of which he has now been exonerated.

He had been held blameworthy along with former Director-General Supplies and Transport Lieut-Gen SK Sahni, who was recently cashiered and awarded three-year rigorous imprisonment by a separate GCM for alleged irregularities. He has challenged the GCM’s verdict and the case is pending before the tribunal.

“Brig Gill can now have a legitimate expectation of promotion to the rank of major-general as he was already approved for promotion and had been placed first in the order of merit. It was only because of the disciplinary proceedings that he was not promoted earlier and he still has the requisite age profile,” his counsel, Maj K Ramesh (retd) said.

The most important facet of the case, Ramesh said, was that the accused’s Commanding Officer, GOC 15 Infantry Division and the next higher authority, GOC 11 Corps had both exonerated him of all seven charges. The GOC-in-C, Western Command, however, had held him blameworthy of all seven charges and ordered his trial by the GCM. “Even after one-and-a-half years, the Headquarters, Western Command, could not provide a single document to justify this change of stand,” Ramesh claimed.

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