The Army has begun Summary General Courts Martial (SGCM) proceedings in Chandimandir of 24 jawans involved in a fracas in an artillery unit in Ladakh in 2012.
Sources in Western Command headquarters informed that the trial is being conducted in an Air Defence regiment in Chandimandir. Three officers have been made members of the SGCM to try the accused and the trial has been on since July 16 when the court first assembled.
As many as 168 jawans were charged with several counts of indiscipline under the Army Act after a outbreak of violence in 226 Field Regiment deployed in Nyoma in Ladakh for field firing.
It is learnt that the SGCM began in Chandimandir, which falls under Western Command, while the offence took place in Northern Command, in order to provide fair opportunity to the accused to get a legal aid. The trial is expected to conclude in a short period of time. A senior officer informed that SGCM is conducted when an offence has taken place while on active service and the duration of the trial is significantly lesser than a general courts martial.
Two batches of Jawans involved in the incident have already been tried by SGCM and awarded varying degrees of imprisonment. The appeals of nine such convicted jawans were dismissed by the Armed Forces Tribunal’s Chandigarh bench recently.
Several officers, including the commanding officer of the regiment were also held prima facie responsible for dereliction of duty in the incident and have been facing disciplinary action.
The clash between the officers and jawans in the unit was triggered off when an officer reportedly accused a jawan of molesting his wife and assaulted him physically along with some other officers. The commanding officer too had been left severely injurdd in the incident.