Dismissal of ex-Army man will discipline others: HC

He was held guilty of wife’s dowry death

The Delhi High Court has dismissed the plea of a man who was thrown out of the Army after he was held guilty of dowry death of his wife by repeatedly demanding a scooter from his in-laws.

A Bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Sanjeev Narula noted that, “the object of punishing delinquent employee is not merely to inflict the punishment on the employee, but also to discipline others in the organisation”.

Challenge decision

Former Nb Risaldar Dilbag Singh had moved the High Court challenging a decision passed by the Armed Forces Tribunal, Principal Bench in Delhi, which rejected his plea against his dismissal from service.

Singh enrolled in the Army in April 1994. His wife expired on March 20, 1998, due to consumption of a poisonous substance. A case of dowry death was registered against him while he was serving as a Sepoy.

7 years’ prison

In 2001, he was convicted by a court and sentenced to undergo seven years of rigorous imprisonment. He appealed against his conviction and sentence before the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Later, he was released on bail following which he rejoined his duties and continued to serve with the Army for the next 14 years.

In 2013, the High Court dismissed his appeal and affirmed the sentence awarded to him. His appeal was dismissed by the Supreme Court as well. After completion of his sentence, he was released from jail in August 2015. In the meantime, he was dismissed from service in December 2014.

The Bench noted that Singh has been convicted of a very serious and heinous offence of causing dowry death of his wife within seven years of marriage.

“The sum and substance of evidence against the petitioner [Singh] was that he forced his wife to consume a poisonous substance in the presence of other witnesses,” the Bench noted.

“The factual background — duly established, was that the petitioner repeatedly demanded dowry in the form of a scooter from his wife and in-laws. The trial court also found that the petitioner was cruel towards his wife, since he did not take her with him to his place of posting,” the Bench said.

If in a case like the present also, this court were to interfere and convert the dismissal into discharge, there would hardly be any other case which would justify the punishment of dismissal from service,” the High Court remarked while rejecting any relief to Singh.

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Printable version | May 28, 2020 5:29:35 AM |

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