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Discipline in Armed Forces is of “paramount” importance and acts of indiscipline should not be forgiven as it would set a bad example for others, the Delhi High Court has said.

The bench of justices Pradeep Nandrajog and Manmohan Singh said, “We would highlight that issues of discipline are of paramount importance in the Armed Forces and repeated deviant behaviour, if condoned, is likely to set a bad example for others.”

The observation came in a judgement by which the court rejected a plea of Satyaveer Singh, a former grenadier with the Army, against his removal from service.

Singh had been sacked following a ‘Summary Court Martial Trial’ on November 14, 1994 after he confessed to overstaying by 40 days beyond the granted annual leave.

“I was granted leave from August 6 to September 6, 1994, however on expiry of leave, I did not feel like rejoining duty so I overstayed leave granted to me. Thereafter when I felt guilty I decided to rejoin the unit. I thus returned to the unit…,” Singh had said in his confession during court martial trial.

Relying on the statement of Singh, the court upheld the decision of ‘Court Martial Trial’ and said, “Record would reveal that the petitioner was a habitual deserter, in that (he) had a habit of over staying leave. There were as many as five red ink entries in his service record.”

Singh “never” claimed that either he or his mother was unwell which led to his unauthorised absence, it said and took note of his earlier acts of overstaying the leave.

“We do not find the proceedings to be a sham. From the record, we find that after he entered the plea of guilt the petitioner signed the same.”

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