The 10 army clerks who had refused to report for an arms cleaning parade at Patiala in October 2012 have been dismissed from service and also sentenced to 3-6 month in rigorous imprisonment. The trials had taken place at various places separately, recently.
The clerks faced trial under Section 39 (d) of the Army Act that they failed to appear for the parade without sufficient cause (at around 7 am on October 25), Section 66 for instigating others to remain absent from arms cleaning parade, Section 39 (a) of absenting themselves without leave and Section 63 for act prejudicial to good order and military discipline.
They had left the Patiala unit for their regimental Centre at Ahmednagar in Maharashtra from Patiala, alleging mistreatment. However, the unit informed the regimental centre that were retained in an unauthorised manner and were sent back to Patiala. The clerks involved are Jagbandhu Das, Ramdas Aware, Dinesh Kumar Shukla, Asabe Ballal, Pankaj Kumar Thakur, Sandeep Kumar, Suresh Kumar Bhuyan, Ramnendra Singh, Santosh Rathod and Rahul Sharma.
One of them, Shukla, approached the Chandigarh bench of the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) for bail. This was granted on a surety from a serving personnel and another of Rs 25,000.
During the arguments, Shukla's counsel Rajeev Anand submitted that upon the return of clerks to the unit from Ahmednagar, proceedings were initiated only with the intent and motive to safeguard and secure the superior authorities and punish the clerical staff.
However, the army counsel Capt Sandeep Bansal (retd) submitted that Shukla and other clerks had admitted their doings and abetment to such collective and joint act of indiscipline, which '…had not only brought a bad name to the organisation, but also maligned the image of the army as such'.