Army finds 74 officers blameworthy in sale of military weapons

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AK Antony
New Delhi, May 7: Indian Army has found 74 officers "blameworthy" in a case relating to sale of military weapons and administrative action has been taken against 33 of them, Defence Ministry told the Lok Sabha.

In a written reply to the House, Defence Minister AK Antony said, "A case relating to sale of Non Standard Pattern (NSP) Weapons by Army officers and a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) has come to light. The matter has been investigated through a Court of Inquiry by the Army."

"The inquiry has found 74 officers and a JCO blameworthy. Administrative/disciplinary action has been taken against 33 officers by the Army," he said. On steps taken to stop recurrence of such incidents, Antony said, "Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) on disposal of NSP weapons has been revised to avoid recurrence of such incidents."

Replying to a question on recent dispute over Annandale ground in Himachal Pradesh, the Defence Minister said the state government has been requested to maintain the status quo till an alternative land is identified. Indian Army has been using the Annandale ground to conduct training exercises. The land was taken on lease from the state government in 1955 for 10 years which was subsequently extended upto 1982.

"In view of the strategic and security point of view, the state government has been suggested to maintain the status quo till a suitable land is identified by the government of Himachal Pradesh," he said. Though the lease was not formally extended from 1982, lease rentals have been paid to the state government upto 2006, Antony told the House.

PTI

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