For the first time in the army’s history, a general court martial (GCM) has sentenced a former woman officer to one year’s rigorous imprisonment after holding her guilty of corruption.

For the first time in the army’s history, a general court martial (GCM) has sentenced a former woman officer to one year’s rigorous imprisonment after holding her guilty of corruption.

The GCM, after finding Major (Retd.) Dimple Singla of the Judge Advocate General branch, the army’s legal wing, guilty under sections 52 and 63 of the Army Act for “wrongful gains”, also ordered late last night that she be cashiered from service for professional impropriety.

The GCM, presided over by Col. Sanjeev Jose of Army’s Western Command, termed her act in accepting a bribe of Rs 10,000 from a defence counsel during a court martial, as being “prejudicial to good order and military discipline” and sentenced her to rigorous imprisonment for one year.

Ms. Singla was facing trial for demanding and accepting the bribe from an accused army man, Havildar Chandran, to influence the court martial proceedings in his favour in 2006 at Dehradun.

She was also accused of violating good order and discipline under Section 63 of the Army Act when she suggested the name of a defence lawyer to Chandran. In addition to this, she was charged with improperly visiting Captain Kamud Maini, who was a defence officer in Chandran’s case, and asking him not to divulge any information to the press regarding the GCM.

The court’s verdict is subject to confirmation by the convening authority.

The court martial against Singla had commenced in 2007 and there had been a series of lengthy adjournments since then as the matter had gone up to the Supreme Court.

Ms. Singla, who had retired from the army on completion of 10 years service in 2007, is the first woman officer to face a court martial.

She was also arrested on February 1, this year, by the army authorities for not attending the GCM proceedings. She was released later on the orders of the Chandimandir-based Armed Forces Tribunal.

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