The Army has ordered a general court martial of two brigadiers on charges of fraud. Both officers are charged with diverting public funds for personal gains.
Brigadiers G Illangovan and DS Grewal, during their postings in Uttarakhand, are said to have accepted government funds in the form of cheques from their division headquarters. Instead of using the money on the projects it was intended for, they returned the funds in cash to the division commander.
If found guilty by the seven-member military court, which began the trial in Jabalpur on Monday, the two could be cashiered — stripped of rank and denied all retirement benefits. They also face 14 years of rigorous imprisonment.
As commander of 99 Mountain Brigade at Chaubatia in February 2005, Illangovan allegedly received a cheque for Rs 60,000. Instead of utilising it, he returned the money in cash to the 6 Mountain Division Commander, Major General GI Singh. He repeated a similar transaction involving Rs 70,000 two months later.
During the same period, Grewal, as commander of 69 Mountain Brigade in Pithoragarh, is alleged to have done exactly the same with a cheque of Rs 1.4 lakh, handing over the amount in cash to Major General Singh.
Last September, Major General Singh was stripped of his rank and sentenced to three years of rigorous imprisonment for selling subsidised army liquor and misappropriating funds.
Army sources told HT that a general court martial would soon be held to try two other similarly placed brigadiers, Rajiv Devikar and RS Rana.