The Armed Forces Tribunal has quashed the sacking of an Army Havaldar court-martialled 11 years ago for molesting the wife of his colleague.
Setting aside Havaldar Nancha Ram Jat's Summary Court Martial (SCM), the Tribunal bench headed by Justices S S Kulshreshtha and S S Dhillon said, "The impugned findings along with the order of SCM are set aside.The appellant shall be deemed to have been discharged from service".
The tribunal also granted pensionary and other benefits due to Jat from the date he was dismissed from service.
In his plea, the Havaldar had contended that a conspiracy was hatched against him and "false and frivolous" allegations of molesting the wife of a fellow jawan were made against him.
At the time of the incident in 1999, Jat was posted in 74 Medium Regiment and was later attached with 214 Rocket Regiment (GRAD) for the SCM proceedings between January to June 2000.
He had further argued that the SCM had also violated the Army Rule 180 by not allowing him to cross-examine the witnesses against him and also questioned the jurisdiction of
the SCM as he was not tried by his commanding officer but that of some other unit.
Agreeing with Jat's contention, the Tribunal observed, "At the relevant time from May to June 2000, the CO of different Unit had no jurisdiction to hold SCM of the individual of another Unit."
The case was transferred from the Delhi High Court to the Armed Forces Tribunal after it was filed in August 2009.