Lt.Gen. Avadesh Prakash held guilty in Sukna land scam

Guwahati : An army court martial here Saturday found former military secretary, Lt.Gen. (retd) Avadesh Prakash, guilty on three counts and dismissed him from service for involvement in a land scam at Sukna military station in West Bengal in 2008.

“The army court found Lt.Gen. (retd) Avadesh Prakash guilty in three of the four cases. He has been dismissed from service and would be deprived of pension and other benefits, besides losing his rank and other decorations,” army spokesperson S.S. Phogat said.

The court martial was held at the 51 sub-area army military station in Narengi on the outskirts of Assam’s main city of Guwahati in connection with an alleged scam involving transfer of 71 acres of land adjacent to Sukna military base near Siliguri in West Bengal.

Avadesh Prakash retired from service Jan 31, 2010.

He is the seniormost lieutenant general of the Indian Army to have faced such stringent disciplinary action till date and the second in the case to be found guilty by an army court martial.

An army court in January this year found guilty another senior officer and former 33 Corps Commander, Lt.Gen. P.K. Rath, in the same case and awarded punishment involving loss of seniority and some part of his pension.

The duo of Avadesh Prakash and Rath were earlier indicted by a court of inquiry constituted by the army in 2010.

The scam dates back to 2008 when the alleged move to transfer the land in Siliguri district of West Bengal to a private educational trust came out in the open, leading to the army initiating disciplinary proceedings against senior army officials, including Avadesh Prakash and Rath.

Though the then army chief Gen (retd) Deepak Kapoor wanted to let off Avadesh Prakash lightly with just an administrative action, Defence Minister A.K. Antony intervened and ordered his court martial.

Avadesh Prakash was then military secretary at the office of the army chief, Gen.Kapoor.

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