Sukhna accused to face court martial in Guwahati

General contended Leimakhong was insurgency-infested

New Delhi: The General Court Martial (GCM) of Lieutenant General Avadesh Prakash, indicted in Sukna land scam, will now take place in Guwahati instead of Manipur following his plea. The Armed Forces Tribunal has asked the Army to fix a new date for the trial, which was scheduled to start on June 15.

The decision came after the Army agreed to shift the court martial proceedings from Leimakhong in Manipur to Guwahati during the hearing on Lieutenant General Prakash's petition on Friday.

In his petition, the former Military Secretary had contended that Leimakhong was an insurgency-infested area and that he was facing problems in arranging a counsel to argue his case there.

New date

“The counsel for respondents [Army] submitted that as per the latest instructions received by him, they are ready to shift the venue from Leimakhong to Guwahati Cantonment, Narangi. The appellant (Lieutenant General Prakash) also agrees,” Tribunal Bench, headed by Justice Manak Mohta, said in its order.

“A new date for the GCM proceedings should also be fixed and the applicant (Lieutenant General Prakash) given minimum 15 days to report for the GCM in Guwahati,” it said.

Indicted by a Court of Inquiry in the Sukna land scam last year, Lieutenant General Prakash will face four charges in the GCM, which will be headed by 12 Corps Commander Lieutenant General Phillip Campose.

Along with Prakash, the Court of Inquiry also indicted the then 33 Corps commander Lieutenant General P.K. Rath for his role in the scam, which involved transfer of defence land for building an educational institution. Lieutenant General Rath has already been punished by a GCM with severe reprimand, two-year loss of seniority and 15 years' loss of service for the purpose of pension.