O.A. No. 30 of 2011. Case: A. Chandra Babu Naidu, Son of Late A. Jayarama Naidu Vs The General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Indian Army and The Commanding Officer, Army Service Corporations Battalion. Armed Forces Tribunal

Case Number:O.A. No. 30 of 2011
Party Name:A. Chandra Babu Naidu, Son of Late A. Jayarama Naidu Vs The General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Indian Army and The Commanding Officer, Army Service Corporations Battalion
Counsel:For Appellant: M.K. Sikdar, by Legal Practitioner and For Respondents: S. Seethalakshmi, SPC and Jitender Singh, JAG Officer Captain
Judges:A.C. Arumugaperumal Adityan, J. (J) and S. Pattabhiraman (A), Members
Issue:Army Act - Sections 64 and 71
Judgement Date:August 12, 2011
Court:Armed Forces Tribunal

Order:

A.C. Arumugaperumal Adityan, J. (Member (J)), (Principal Bench, New Delhi)

  1. The applicant/Appellant, who had faced a charge under Section 64(c) of the Army Act and received a punishment of dismissal at the hands of the Summary Court Martial vide Order No. 22013/P/621/DV-4, dated 28th October 2010, is standing before us challenging the same.

  2. On the basis of the summary of evidence let in against the applicant/Appellant, the Summary Court Martial was ordered by the competent authority. Before the Summary Court Martial, P.W.1 to 12 were examined and Exhibit-1 to 8 were marked.

  3. P.W.1 JC-665314M Naib Subedar/Clerk R.K. Singh, who was examined as P.W.9 in the Summary of Evidence, has deposed about the punishment of 7 days pay fine awarded to the accused on 30th October 2008 under Exhibit-1 and that the same was set aside on 22nd February 2009 by the General Officer Commanding, 28 Infantry Division, under Exhibit-2 and that except the said punishment, the accused was not awarded any other punishment during his service. The conduct sheet relating to the accused/applicant/Appellant was also marked as Exhibit-3. Even though the accused was given an opportunity to cross-examine P.W.1, he has not availed the same.

  4. P.W.2 Havildar/Mechanical Transport Siva Kumar, who was examined as P.W.1 in the Summary of Evidence, had deposed that on 31st October 2008 the accused was detailed on guard duty at Lolab Gate and at around 23.50 hours, he (P.W.2) was instructed by the Subedar Major on the radio set to relieve the accused from sentry duty immediately. He (P.W.2) immediately detailed a relief and in the meanwhile, he (P.W.2) was again asked on the radio set by the Subedar Major whether the accused had been relieved, for which he (P.W.2) had answered that he (P.W.2) was proceeding to the post alongwith the relief. In the mean while, he (P.W.2) heard a single gun shot being fired. As he was walking towards the post, Sepoy Gharpode who was on sentry duty ran towards him (P.W.2) and informed that Sepoy Chandra Babu Naidu (Accused) had shot himself. In the mean time, the Guard Commander and other sentries rushed the accused to the medical inspection room, where he (P.W.2) saw the accused lying there and when he (P.W.2) asked the accused as to what had happened to him, the accused replied "Let me die, I want to die" twice or thrice. He (P.W.2) immediately rushed back to the Unit and activated the Quick Reaction Team to take the accused to the hospital and the accused was immediately shifted into the ambulance after giving first aid and evacuated to the hospital alongwith the Quick Reaction Team. The accused has declined to cross-examine P.W.2 also.

  5. P.W.3 is Sepoy Hari Om, who was examined as P.W.2 in the Summary of Evidence. According to P.W.3, he came on posting to 528 Army Service Corps Battalion on 30th October 2008. On 31st October 2008, he (P.W.3) was detailed on sentry duty at Lolab Post from 22.00 hours to 00.01 hour and from 04.00 hours to 06.00 hours. After briefing of the guard, he (P.W.3) went to get ready and after dinner, he (P.W.3) went to the guard room and he was on duty from 22.00 hours with Sepoy Chandra Babu Naidu (accused) as second sentry. During that time, the accused was constantly speaking on his mobile telephone in his native language and that P.W.3 informed the accused that he had come on posting from Army Service Corps Centre, Bangalore, and that the accused had informed him (P.W.3) that he (accused) has been awarded 7 days pay fine and that due to backbiting of somebody, he was awarded the said punishment. After that, the Duty Junior Commissioned Officer came and checked the post and found everything correct. After that, the accused resumed his talk on mobile telephone. When the time for changing of sentries came, the accused asked P.W.3 to go and wake up the next sentries for duty. Then P.W.3 came to the guard room to wake up the sentries. As he (P.W.3) woke up the sentries and was going back to the post, near the A Company gate, he (P.W.3) heard the sound of gunshot. He (P.W.3) immediately rushed to inform the guard commander about the same. After that, he (P.W.3) alongwith the next sentries on duty ran towards the post. As he (PW.3) reached the post, he saw the accused lying on his back with a bullet found on his chest and the accused was in a semi-conscious state and was telling them not to take him to hospital and let him to die because he was wrongly punished. But, the accused was immediately rushed to the Medical Inspection Room. The accused's weapon was lying there on his left side alongwith two live rounds and one fired case. The accused was put on the stretcher in the Medical Inspection Room. Thereafter, P.W.3 came back to duty. The accused had declined to cross-examine P.W.3 also.

  6. P.W.4 is Havildar Ram Singh, who was examined as P.W.8 in the Summary of Evidence. According to P.W.4, he was posted in 528 Army Service Corps Battalion from January 2006 till December 2008. He was detailed as the guard commander for...

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