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HindustanTimes Sun,13 Jul 2014

Year after GCM, Air Chief dismisses officer for graft

Bhartesh Singh Thakur, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh , July 16, 2013
First Published: 20:04 IST(16/7/2013) | Last Updated: 20:05 IST(16/7/2013)

Air Chief NAK Browne has dismissed Wing Commander Alok Kumar Thakur, more than a year after a General Court Martial (GCM) held the officer guilty of corruption.

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The chief was not able to sign his dismissal since last year as there was a stay first from the Karnataka high court and then the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT), Chandigarh Bench. But now there was no legal obstacle.

On May 31, the AFT had dismissed the petition of Thakur, who was praying for quashing the GCM findings, which dismissed him from service for corruption. But a stay was granted for six weeks so that he could file an appeal. The officer, now posted at Jammu, moved the Punjab and Haryana high court, but later withdrew the appeal.

Thakur was posted at Yelahanka air force station, Bangalore, in 2011. He was accused of demanding "services of girls", taking liquor and money from Posina V Rao, deputy delegate, Dassault International, during Aero India 2011 show for allotting parking space to the company's aircraft. Dassault, a French firm, manufactures fighter aircraft.

The GCM had on April 24, 2012, held him guilty of taking Rs. 50,000 from Dassault from February 3 to 12, 2011. He was also found guilty of taking Rs. 20,000 and liquor on February 13, 2011, from the company's representative.

But he was absolved of the charge of demanding "services of girls" as another Dassault official, Morris, could not be examined and the transcripts of SMSes submitted by Rao were regarded as corroborative evidence, "albeit of weak nature", by the GCM. He was also found guilty of giving false statements under oath.Thakur had been pleading that the GCM findings be quashed as there was no evidence against him.


 

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