Chandigarh bench of the Armed Forces Tribunal on Monday slapped a fine of Rs 10000 on army authorities for not supplying the necessary documents in response to the ongoing petition filed by Brigadier Surinder Singh seeking independent probe on the Kargil war.
Bench also directed the army to produce all such documents by March 3. Brigadier Surinder Singh is the only Army officer of the Kargil War who was sacked without a general court martial (GCM) by the army.
When the matter came up for resumed hearing before division bench of the tribunal comprising Judicial member Justice NP Gupta and administrative member Lt Gen NS Brar on Monday, army counsel, who had specially came from Delhi informed that they cannot provide documents sought by the petitioner at present, as it will take some more time to procure all the documents.
However contesting their pleas, counsel for Brig Singh, advocate MP Goswami alleged that the army authorities are making mockery of system by making excuses, one after another and contradictory statements.
On Army’s claim of ‘confidentiality’ of documents, the lawyers pointed out that most of the portion of these documents have been published in various books written by General VP Malik, Captain Amrinder Singh and in Subramanyam committee report.
Importantly, it was for the third time that army authorities has failed to produce the documents. Surprisingly on earlier two occasions, Army tried to pass the bucks by terming the documents as ‘secret’ and ‘untraceable’.
However on December 22 last year, counsel for the army authorities had promised to produce the sought documents by January 17. Brigadier Singh was the brigade commander of 121 Brigade, which looked after a border frontage of 160 km when the Kargil intrusion took place and is said to have informed his superiors about the increased threat perception across the LoC in Kargil in August 1998.
In his petition filed in 2001, Surinder Singh had prayed not only for professional restitution, but also for a complete investigation into the Kargil War, modelled on the Shimon Agranat Commission, which was set up after the Yom Kippur war between the Arabs and the Israelis. Early his petition was pending with the Delhi high court but after the constitution of Armed forces tribunal in Chandigarh, Singh got his case transferred here on the medical ground. Now the case would come up for further hearing on March 3.
-via The Times of India