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Supreme Court Upholds Army Court Powers

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Author: Ankita Karn (REVA University, Bangalore)

Supreme Court has upheld a home ministry appeal that argued the General Assam Rifles Court a wing of the army, was empowered to try Assam Rifles personnel under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

The Supreme Court has upheld the home ministry appeal that argued the General Assam Rifles Court a wing of the army, was empowered to try Assam Rifles personnel under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. The concurrent findings of a single judge bench and a division of Gauhati High Court were set aside by the bench of Justices L. Nageswara Rao and M R Shah. Gauhati High Court said that only the specially designated session court can be set up under the Prevention of Corruption Act has the power to try the armed forces personnel for corruption.

The High Court had pronounced the verdict on an appeal from Ranjit Kumar Saha and other Assam Rifles Soldiers. They challenged the trial against them by the General Assam Rifles Court.

The Apex Court ruled that:

Any member of the Assam Rifles shall be liable to be tried by the GARC for committing a civil offence, which means an offence which is triable by a criminal court. A ‘criminal court’ means a court of ordinary criminal justice in any part of India.

The bench passed this verdict while interpreting the Prevention of Corruption Act. 1988 provisions and the Assam Rifles Act, 2006.

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