An Army court martial in Jammu and Kashmir has recommended life imprisonment for a Captain in connection with the killing of three men in a staged encounter at a remote hilly village at Amshipura in the Shopian district of south Kashmir in July 2020.
A court-martial has been granted the authority to judge the guilt of members of the armed forces which is subject to military law, and, in the case, if the accused or defendant is found guilty, to decide upon punishment which they have to carry.
What is the legal Provision related to court martial in India?
- The Armed Forces Tribunal Act 2007 was passed by the Parliament and led to the formation of the Armed Forces Tribunal.
- This tribunal is empowered with the adjudication of disputes and complaints concerning the commission, appointments, enrolments and conditions of service in respect of persons subject to the Army Act, 1950, The Navy Act, 1957 and the Air Force Act, 1950
- Composition of the Armed Forces Tribunal —
- The Judicial Members are retired High Court Judges and Administrative Members are retired Members of the Armed Forces who have held the rank of Major General/ equivalent or above for a period of three years or more.
- Judge Advocate General (JAG) who has held the appointment for at least one year is also entitled to be appointed as the Administrative Member.
- There are four kinds of courts-martial in India namely; General Court Martial (GCM), District Court Martial (DCM), Summary General Court Martial (SGCM) and Summary Court Martial (SCM).
- Under the Army Act, army courts can try personnel for all kinds of offences, except for murder and rape of a civilian, which are primarily tried by a civilian court of law.
- Pardoning power — The president of India can use his judicial power under Article 72 of the Constitution to pardon, reprieve, respite or remission of punishment or sentence given by a court martial.