The Armed Forces Tribunal on Monday asked the Army to produce court martial documents of five soldiers punished for their involvement in the over 30-year-old sensational Samba spy case.
In the case, around 50 personnel of 168 Brigade deployed along the Line of Control were punished after being accused of spying for Pakistan on the basis of statements of former gunners Sarwan Dass and Aya Singh.
The Tribunal Bench headed by Justice S S Kulshreshtha asked the Army to produce the general court martial (GCM) documents of gunners Banarasi Das, Milkhi Ram, Satpal, Harish Singh and Balkar Singh, who have served jail terms, before it by June 30.
The appeals of the soldiers who are seeking to get their names cleared were among the cases transferred from the High Court to the Tribunal after it was launched in August last year.
The Tribunal said failure to produce the documents would draw an “adverse inference” about Army’s contention in the case.
“This is the first time in over 30 years since the case came up that we would get to see the court martial documents. I am hopeful that this will make it easier for us to get justice,” counsel for the five gunners Deepak Bhattacharya said.
In the case of two other accused Captain A K Rana and Captain R S Rathore, whose pleas are still pending in the Supreme Court, the Tribunal said it would hear their case on September 7.
Rana said that he and Captain Rathore were cleared by the Delhi High Court in 2000, but the verdict was challenged by the Army in the Supreme Court.
After the HC verdict, they filed pleas seeking compensation for the jail term served by them which have also been transferred to the Tribunal.