Former lieutenant general SK Sahni, who was sentenced to three years rigorous imprisonment on Friday by a general court martial (GCM) in a multi-million ration scam, is considering an appeal against the verdict.
“I am going to meet Lt Gen Sahni’s family members and other concerned people regarding an appeal against the verdict,” Sahni’s counsel Major Alok Sinha said on Saturday before leaving for New Delhi.
Sahni was also cashiered by the GCM. This means Sahni now faces the prospect of losing all retirement benefits, including pension and gratuity.
The scam pertained to the year 2005 when Sahni served as Director-General for supplies and transport.
A recent CAG report had paved way for the action against Sahni. The report revealed soldiers were supplied wheat, rice, pulses and edible oil after 28 days of their expiry date.
Food items were bought at cheaper rates by the contractors and then supplied to various army units, the report said.
The 65-year-old ex-general, who retired in 2006, was convicted for procuring sub-standard meat and other dry rations for troops deployed in Siachen, Ladakh and other high-altitude areas in 2005.
The six-member GCM, presided by Lt General Jatinder Singh, held him guilty under six of the nine charges framed against him. Army authorities in the Jalandhar cantonment have put Sahni under formal arrest, making him one of the highest-ranking army officers to be sentenced and arrested.
“Nobody is allowed to meet Sahni. I will have to seek permission from the authorities to meet my client so that further course of action on appealing against the GCM verdict can be worked out,” the defence counsel said. The GCM report will be presented to the Army chief and then to the defence minister. If the conviction and sentence are confirmed, Sahni will have to approach the Armed Forces Tribunal in Chandigarh for relief.