IAF court martial adjourned again

Staff Reporter

BANGALORE: Flying Officer Anjali Gupta on Tuesday submitted that she needs three days time to trace her advocate, H.B. Mishra, who has left for New Delhi after withdrawing as her civilian defence counsel.

The general court martial of the Indian Air Force, which is trying her on charges of insubordination and irregularity, gave her time till Wednesday. It also directed the prosecutor, Wg. Cdr. R.K. Dubey, to keep a defending officer ready for Ms. Gupta in case Mr. Mishra does not turn up, and go ahead with the case.

Time sought

Ms. Gupta on Tuesday once again said her advocate had left without informing her. "I need time to get a clear picture about Mr. Mishra's whereabouts and also about his intention in fighting my case," she said.

Mr. Mishra on July 1 submitted to the court that "compelling circumstances" had forced him to withdraw as defending counsel.

Mishra clarifies

Mr. Mishra on Monday denied Ms. Gupta's allegation that he had left for New Delhi without informing her and that he had taken with him some documents related to the proceedings.

Talking to The Hindu from New Delhi, Mr. Mishra said Ms. Gupta had indeed met him at the Bangalore airport on July 1 night before he left for New Delhi.

Regarding the documents, Mr. Mishra said he handed over all the documents pertaining to the court martial proceedings to Ms. Gupta before he left the IAF's Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment, the venue of the general court martial, on the evening of July 1. Though she accepted the documents she refused to sign an acknowledgement saying she had received it, Mr. Mishra said.

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