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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Dec 2014

Sukna scam: Court martial to reassemble today

None  Shillong, July 11, 2011
First Published: 09:44 IST(11/7/2011) | Last Updated: 09:47 IST(11/7/2011)

The General Court Martial (GCM), which convicted former 33 Corps Commander Lt. Gen. P.K. Rath in the Sukna land scam in West Bengal, will reassemble Monday at the 58 Gorkha Training Centre here in Meghalaya, an army officer said Sunday.

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The General Officer Commander-in-Chief Eastern Command Lt. Gen Bikram Singh ordered the GCM to reassemble for reconsidering its finding on a charge of which Rath was acquitted.

"The confirming authority (Bikram Singh) ordered the GCM to reassemble tomorrow (Monday) to reconsider its findings of Rath being found not guilty of the first charge of intent to defraud," the officer told IANS.

"The GCM will relook their findings as it failed to properly appreciate the evidence on record and accorded due weightage to the evidence," the officer said.

The eight-month-long court martial, comprising five senior lieutenant generals and headed by Lt. Gen. I.P. Singh, found Rath guilty on three counts.

In January, the GCM against Rath, the first serving lieutenant general to be found guilty, recommended taking "off the rank and the precedence of appointment" with substantive effect from May 24, 2010. In effect, his promotion in 2008 may now be considered effective from 2010.

Rath is the senior-most serving general to be hauled up for indiscipline. The sentence is expected in a couple of days from now.

He had been charged with intent to defraud the army by issuing a no-objection certificate (NOC) to a private realtor to construct an educational institution on a 70-acre plot adjacent to the the Sukna military station.

Another senior officer, Lt. Gen. Avadesh Prakash, who was the Military Secretary when General Deepak Kapoor was the army chief and has now retired, is also expected to soon face a court martial in the same case. The order for Prakash's court martial was issued by Kapoor before his retirement in March 2010.


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