O.A. No. 20 of 2013. Case: No. 15322821A, SPR/Steward Sherlacs. S. of 7 Vs The Defence Secretary. Armed Forces Tribunal

Case NumberO.A. No. 20 of 2013
CounselFor Appellant: Viswanathan. P., Adv. and For Respondents: K.M.Jamaludheen, Adv., Senior Panel Counsel
JudgesShrikant Tripathi, J. (Member (J)) and Vice Admiral M.P. Muralidharan, AVSM & BAR, NM, Member (A)
IssueArmy Act, 1950 - Sections 106, 122, 37, 38, 38(1), 39(1), 39(b), 54(b)
Judgement DateJune 23, 2014
CourtArmed Forces Tribunal


Shrikant Tripathi, J. (Member (J)), (Regional Bench, Kochi)

  1. Heard the counsel for the parties and perused the record.

  2. The applicant, Steward Sherlacs S., No. 15322821A has challenged not only the proceeding of the Summary Court Martial, but also the punishment of dismissal made in pursuance of such proceeding. Consequently he has prayed for reinstatement in service with fullback pay and allowances. He proceeded on leave from 22nd November 2005 to 11th December 2005 and was to report back on 11th December 2005 at 18 hours, but failed to do so. Consequently a Court of Inquiry was held, which declared him as a deserter. However, in due course of time, the applicant voluntarily appeared at the Depot Battalion, MEG & Centre, Bangalore on 23rd March 2010 at about 18 hours. Accordingly, he remained absent from duty from 11th December 2005 to 23rd March 2010, for approximately about 4 years and two months.

  3. It is also alleged that the applicant was tried by a Summary Court Martial for the charge under the Army Act Section 39(b), without sufficient cause, for overstaying leave granted to him and also for the charge under the Army Act Section 54(b) for losing by neglect the property of the Government issued to him for his use.

  4. The applicant was read over and explained both the charges, to which he voluntarily pleaded guilty. The Summary Court Martial, while recording the statement of the applicant, duly followed the requirements of Army Rule 52(2) and 115(2) and appended a certificate to that effect on the proceedings of the Summary Court Martial, which is reproduced as follows:

    Before recording the plea of guilty offered by the accused, the Court explained to the accused the meaning of the charges to which he pleaded guilty and ascertained that the accused had understood the nature of charges to which he had pleaded guilty. The Court also informed the accused the general effect to the plea of and the difference in procedure, which will be followed consequent to the said plea. The Court having satisfied itself that the accused understands the charges and the effect of his plea guilty accepts and records the same. The provision of Army Rule 52(2) or 115(2) are thus complied with.

  5. The Summary Court Martial concluded the trial with the finding that both the charges were proved beyond all reasonable doubts against the applicant, on the basis of the plea of guilt made by him. Accordingly the Summary Court Martial rendered the order...

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