Case Study: Bachan Singh

Topics: Judge Advocate General's Corps, Court-martial, Uniform Code of Military Justice Pages: 10 (3781 words) Published: December 19, 2010
The Practical Lawyer

Bachan Singh v. Union of India
(C.K. Thakker and Lokeshwar Singh Panta, JJ.) Bachan Singh ------------------ Appellant v. Union of India & Ors. -------------- Respondent(s) Civil Appeal No. 3110 of 2004, decided on July 10, 2008 The judgment of the Court was delivered by Lokeshwar Singh Panta, J. Bachan Singh - appellant is aggrieved by the judgment and order dated February 5, 2002 passed by the Division Bench of the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir at Jammu allowing the LPA (SW) No. 284/97 filed by the respondents herein against the judgment dated November 20, 1996 of the learned Single Judge of the High Court whereby the learned Single Judge allowed SWP No. 14-A/1984 filed by the appellant and quashed the General Court-Martial held against him including confirmation of sentence passed upon him by the General Court-Martial and the appellant is relegated back to the position he had on the date of passing of the order with all the benefits under the Rules. A General Court-Martial (GCM) under the Army Act, 1950 (for short `the Act') was convened by the competent authority on January 4, 1982 under Section 109 of the Act to try the appellant holding the rank of Sepoy in Second Batallion, the Dogra Regiment in the Army. The allegations against the appellant for which he was suspected to be tried by GCM were:"No.3973649A Sep Bachan Singh of 2DOGRA is resident of village Paragwal, Tehsil Akhnoor, District Jammu (J&K) S/o Shri Dharam Singh and step son of Smt. Gyano Devi, second wife of Shri Dharam Singh. Sep. Bachan Singh studied in Govt. Lower High School, Paragwal upto the 9th. He was enrolled in the Army on 11 Oct. 75 to Meerut in the Dogra Regt. He is married to Smt. Veena Kumari D/o Shri Durga Singh resident of Village Chargarwar, Tehsil Jammu, District Jammu (J&K). Sep Bachan Singh proceeded on annual leave w.e.f. 16 Jan 80 to 15 Mar 80 to his home station village Paragwal, Tehsil Akhnoor. Shri Bachan Singh S/o Shri Waryam Singh resident of Village Najwal, Tehsil Akhnoor, District Jammu (J&K) which is about 3 kms. from village Paragwal is related to Sep Bachan Singh. Sep Bachan Singh's step mother Smt. Gyano Devi is the younger sister of Shri Rattan Singh's mother Smt. Vidya Devi. During the month of Feb 80 Smt. Vidya Devi had gone over to Sep Bachan Singh's house and invited him and his wife over to her place. On 12 Mar 80 Sep Bachan Singh along with his wife Smt. Veena Devi and his three months old son went to Smt. Vidya Devi's house. Shri Rattan Singh and Sep Bachan Singh consumed country liquor that night. At about 2130 hours Shri Rattan Singh and Sep Bachan Singh went out for a walk and while waling crossed the border into PAK territory where they were met by two PAK FIU staff at Post DERA. PAK if he was in possession of his identity card. Sep Bachan Singh gave his name as Narinder Singh son of Shri Surjeet Singh, his unit as 16 J&K LI located at MIZORAM. PAK FIU staff gave Rs. 200/- Sep Bachan Singh when he reached his home. The next day, 13 Mar 80, Sep Bachan Singh with his family left for his home. On 15 Mar 80 Sep Bachan Singh left his village Paragwal to rejoin his unit. At 1830 hours 15 Mar 80, Sep Bachan Singh rejoined his unit, 2 DOGRA. On 04 Jul 80 Sep Bachan Singh under an escort proceeded to 168 ASC Bn on temp duty for interrogation at the Joint Interrogation Centre South C/o Det 4/290 Liaison Unit C/o 56 APO and returned back to the unit on 10 Aug 80." The order convening the Court-Martial reads as under:"FORM OF ORDER FOR THE ASSEMBLY OF A GENERAL COURT MARTIAL UNDER ARMY ACT Orders by IC-5095P Major General K. Mahipat Sinhji Officiating General Officer Commanding 16 Corps. Place: Field Date:15 December, 1981. No.3973649A Sepoy The details of officers mentioned Bachan Singh 2nd below will assemble at Field on Batallion The Eastern Book Company Generated: Monday, October 18, 2010

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