STATE TIMES NEWS
JAMMU: Justice Sanjay Kumar Gupta on Friday dismissed petition filed by Major General V.K Sharma seeking quashment of charges framed by the Special Judge CBI Jammu in corruption case.
After hearing Senior Advocate Sunil Sethi with Advocate Ravi Abrol for the petitioner whereas Advocate Monika Kohli for the CBI, the court observed that question required to be seen in the present case is whether there was a need for Special Judge to follow this procedure or not. “Undoubtedly, the Special Judge was required to follow this procedure in case the petitioner was subject to dual jurisdiction of a court-martial as well as of an ordinary criminal court. The petitioner though was subject to the Army Act when this FIR was lodged against him and was allowed to be investigated by CBI, but he was not subject to the Army Act when the cognisance of an offence was taken by the Special Judge. Challan in this case was presented on August 5, 2014 and the charges were framed on March 31, 2015. By then, the petitioner had already been retired from service on April 30, 2014 as per pleading in petition”, the court observed.
Court further observed that thus, on the date he was produced before the Special Judge, he was not subject to the Army Act. Reference here may be made to the provisions of Section 2 (2) of the Army Act, which clearly provide that person who is subject to the Act under any of the Clauses (a) to (g) shall remain so subject until duly retired, discharged, released, etc. “Thus, the subjection of the person to the Act in view of any of the Clauses (a) to (g) of the Army Act of Section 2 would cease on his retirement. Since the petitioner had retired from service on April 30, 2014, he was no more subject to the Army Act in terms of Section 2 (2) and hence was not open to be tried by a court-martial. Needless to mention that for trying a person by court-martial, his subjection to the Army Act is the legally essential requirement and moment the person ceases to be subject to the Act, he does not remain amenable to the jurisdiction of a court-martial for his trial”, the court observed adding that this court while exercising the power under revision, cannot stifle the legitimate prosecution. “This is a supervisory power vested in High Court to correct illegality or incorrectness in the order of subordinate court. High Court cannot re-examine evidence in detail to see as to whether charge for alleged offence is made put or not”, the court observed.
With these observations High Court dismissed the petition and vacated the interim stay.
According to the CBI case, the complainant Inder Singh, allegedly, gave money to the accused, as demanded by him for the reinstatement of his firm, which had earlier been removed. He got made photostat copies of four currency notes of five hundred rupees each, out of the notes worth Rs 5000. He thereafter, filed the complaint before Lt General KT Parnaik, which reached him on June 11, 2012. Subsequently Lt General K.T Parnail constituted a team of Lt General BS Pama, Chief of Staff, Head Quarter, Northern Command and Deputy Provost Marshal, Col AS Sehgal. This team also took accused Lt General VK Sharma with them to his office for the search. He was asked to open the drawer of his table, the key of which were in possession of accused himself. A brown coloured envelope containing Rs 5000 rupees was recovered, upon the search of the aforesaid drawer. An envelope containing Rs 1,430, two cancelled tickets and another pouch containing stacks of credit/ debit cards were also recovered from the aforesaid drawer. These were handed over to Lt Gen Pama. The accused was also asked to open his briefcase. He opened the same with keys in his possession. A white envelope containing currency notes of Rs 35,000 was recovered there from.
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