Two senior Navy officers to face court martial
"Commander N Rajesh Kumar and Lt Cdr Mahesh Birajdar were found guilty of the charges levelled against them in the BoI and disciplinary action was recommended against them.Their Summary of Evidence (SoE) has also been completed and their court martial proceedings will begin soon," Navy sources told PTI here.
The inquiry against the two senior-most members of the Navy's skydiving team had probed into several cases of monetary bungling by the two officers which were allegedly carried out by the duo on the pretext of taking part in adventure sports activities.
The officers have challenged the disciplinary action against them in the Armed Forces Tribunal, saying that they were not even given opportunity to defend themselves in the probe.
"We have appealed in the Tribunal against the disciplinary action against Rajesh and Birajdar as authorities have violated the Navy Rule 205 which makes it mandatory for the Navy to record statements of the witnesses in the presence of officers whose military reputation is being questioned," Commodore Sukhjinder Singh, the counsel of the two officials said here.
He said the authorities had not even provided the convening order of the BoI to the two officers, who have been attached with the Navy headquarters here for the last two years without work.
The two officers have written to the Navy Chief's office to get the copies of the BoI against them but they have not been provided these documents so far.
In the petition filed by Rajesh Kumar, it has been alleged that one Lt Cdr S K Karthikeyan, on whose complaint the BoI was initiated, has conspired against them as he was reprimanded by him for his "immoral activities" abroad where a foreigner was allegedly molested by two Navy sailors.
They have contended that the Navy authorities started the probe against them on Karthikeyan's complaint without taking into account the fact that he himself had "defrauded the state" of lakhs of rupees in producing and signing fake monetary claims for foreign tours.
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