No scope for cowardice in Indian Army, a soldier can’t turn his back: Supreme Court
New Delhi, July 04: While confirming the dismissal of a jawan, the Supreme Court made it clear that there is no room for cowards in the Indian Army.
The jawan, Dalbir Singh was dismissed after he failed to fire at terrorists during an encounter in Jammu and Kashmir in 2006.
Singh requested the court to consider his plea and also stated that he had a good track record. The Army had court-martialled him for showing cowardice in the face of aggression and failing to fire his AK-47 and service pistol.
A Bench comprising Justices M R Shah and A S Bopanna, while rejecting the petition observed, " when it comes to protecting the border, a soldier cannot live merely on past glory. He should rise to the occasion every time to defend the integrity of the nation since such is the trust reposed in a soldier."
Singh was enrolled in April 1999 and until the above mentioned incident, his track record has been impeccable. In the 2006 encounter, the Army had formed a cordon to trap terrorists. The post which Singh was guarding came under fire and instead of retaliating he is said to have tried to jump across a stone wall to escape. His was shot on the leg by the terrorist.
Another jawan who was guarding the post was killed. The court martial proceedings found Singh guilty of cowardice and he was dismissed from service on March 6 2008. He was also sentenced to imprisonment for six months.
The Bench said, " the resources of the country are spent on training a soldier to retaliate and fight when the integrity of the nation is threatened and thee is aggression. In such a grave situation, if a soldier turns his back to the challenge, it amounts to cowardice."
The Bench while confirming the dismissal, however set aside the sentence.