Delhi HC to consider scrapping regulation that gives Army the right to arrest without confirmation

India-china standoff

By Diksha-

The Delhi High Court shall soon decide whether a regulation that allows the Army to arrest a person of a Force after a Court Martial sentence without the Confirming Authority’s assent is violative and liable to be struck down.

A petition has been filed by a former Army Major before the Court to declare his 42-day confinement as illegal and violative of Article 14.

He also demanded that the Centre, Chief of Army Staff and General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Northern Command should pay him Rs.5 lakh as damages.

The petitioner was found guilty and sentenced to a three-month imprisonment in January, but he was put under arrest from 3 Jan to 14 Feb without the Confirming Authority’s approval. The Authority even remitted his sentence in March.

The Major has contended that Section 153 of the Army Act requires confirmation of the Authority after a sentence is passed by the General, District or Summary General Court Martial and this provision had been grossly violated by the authorities.

But the Centre and Army urged that Regulation 392(I) of Army Regulations provides that when sentence is for imprisonment or higher, the accused is to be in close arrest if not already arrested unless an order is passed to act otherwise.

The Court said that, “Since Regulation 392(l) prima facie appears to be in conflict with Section 153 of the Army Act and has potential of causing mischief in other cases also, though not under challenge in this petition, it is deemed expedient to consider further, whether the same is liable to be struck down vide order in this proceeding, to prevent any further such situations”.

The hearing on the matter has been listed for November 3.

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