SC: Army Act is not meant to protect the Army for committing serious offences by awarding lesser punishment

SC: Army Act is not meant to protect the Army for committing serious offences by awarding lesser punishment

The Supreme Court had recently observed that the main intent and purpose of the Army Act was not to protect the army personnel by awarding them lesser punishment even and especially for serious offences. f that was the intent of the legislature- that is to protect persons subject to the Army Act by awarding them lesser punishment even for serious offences and then in this case the Act would not have provided for more of concurrent jurisdiction of court-martial and ordinary criminal courts at all. 

This was the opinion of the bench that comprised of Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Surya Kant while allowing an appeal that was filed by the State of Sikkim against an order that was passed by the Sikkim High Court which had directed that a criminal case against an army officer be handed over to court-martial. The Apex Court bench along the lines of the question of jurisdiction of the Sessions Court had held that the criminal court would have jurisdiction in order to try a case against army personnel if it was found that the Commanding Officer does not exercise the discretion as under Section 125 of the Army Act to help initiate court-martial in accordance to the offence.

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