Delhi High Court stays Lt Gen Sahni's court martial

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New Delhi, Nov 21 (UNI) Delhi High Court today restrained the Indian Army to initiate Court Martial proceedings against a Lt Gen (retd) and six other serving officers against whom there are charges of corruption in a matter related to procurement of pulses four years ago.

The matter came to High Court minutes after the Army decided to initiate court martial proceedings against a retired Lieutenant General on corruption charges today. The Lt General approached the High Court for an injunction of the Army proceedings.

Staying the Army action, the Court gave a temporary reprieve to him and posted the matter for a next date.

Lt Gen (retd) S K Sahni and six serving officers including a Major General and two Brigadiers were indicted by a court of inquiry on charges of procuring poor quality pulses for soldiers fighting insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir four years ago.

Following the Army decision to proceed against him, Sahni moved the High Court which granted him interim stay.

A Bench headed by Justice A K Sikri passed the interim orders hours after the Army said it would court martial Sahni on November 26.

"We direct that there shall be no court martial proceedings convened," Justice A K Sikri said in his orders, giving relief to the retired officer, who went to the High Court today after the Army Western Command General Officer Commanding-in-Chief issued summons to him.

Sahni, who served as the Director General (Supplies and Transport) in Army headquarters and retired from that post in 2006, will be the senior most army officer, serving or retired, to face such disciplinary proceedings under the Army Act.

The Army invoked laws that provided for action against erring officers after retirement. Sahni and the six officers moved the Delhi High Court against 2007 findings of the Court of Inquiry which held them guilty.

The serving officers moved the Supreme Court against the High Court verdict and their cases are still pending.

UNI SNG LS KN2045

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