SC: If the Commanding officer does not exercise discretion under S. 125, Criminal Court can try a case against him

SC: If the Commanding officer does not exercise discretion under S. 125, Criminal Court can try a case against him

The Supreme Court has decided that the criminal court will have the jurisdiction to try a case that is against army personnel in the case that the Commanding Officer does not have to exercise the discretion as under Section 125 of the Army Act in order to initiate the court-martial with regards to the offence committed. 

If the designated officer in question does not exercise the discretion to institute the proceedings before a court-martial, then the Army Act would not include the exercise of jurisdiction by any ordinary criminal court is what the Supreme Court held. 

The court observed that the entire sequence of events that occurred both before and after the completion of the investigation had provided a clear indicator that the Commanding Officer indeed took a conscious decision that the investigation and trial should be conducted in accordance with the provisions of the CrPC.The consequence of the decision of the High Court is to impose an obligation on the Army Authorities to hold a court-martial despite a very clear submission made to the jurisdiction of the Court of Sessions, is what was the court’s opinion, while it allowed the appeal.

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