The Delhi High Court will consider whether a regulation allowing the Army to arrest a member of the force — after a court martial sentence — without the Confirming Authority’s approval is liable to be struck down.
A Division Bench of Justices Rajiv Sahai Endlaw and Asha Menon passed the order on a petition filed by a former Army Major, who demanded that his 42-day incarceration be declared illegal and the Centre, Chief of Army Staff and General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Northern Command be ordered to pay him Rs 5 lakh in damages for alleged violation of his fundamental rights. He was found guilty on three counts and sentenced to three-month imprisonment in January and placed under close arrest from January 3 to February 14. However, the Confirming Authority in March remitted his sentence.
The court has listed the case for November 3.
In his petition, the former Major argued the authorities acted in violation of Section 153 of the Army Act which mandates confirmation of any finding or sentence passed by the General, District or Summary General Court Martial, and that it shall not be deemed to be valid unless confirmed. The Centre and Army argued the arrest took place in accordance with Regulation 392(I) of the Regulations for the Army, which states that when the sentence awarded is imprisonment or higher, the accused will continue to remain under close arrest and if not already under arrest, will be taken into custody, unless the convening or confirming officer or an authority superior directs otherwise.
“Since Regulation 392(l) prima facie appears to be in conflict with Section 153 of the Army Act and has potential of causing mischief in other cases also, though not under challenge in this petition, it is deemed expedient to consider further, whether the same is liable to be struck down vide order in this proceeding, to prevent any further such situations,” the court said.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines