Jalandhar (Agencies): A retired Lt Gen of the Indian Army was cashiered and sentenced to three years rigorous imprisonment by General Court Martial (GCM) in the ration scam.

Lieutenant General SK Sahni, who retired in 2006, was convicted of professional misconduct and has been sentenced to jail by GCM while trying the former Director General, Supplies and Transport for irregularities in the procurement of dry rations.

He was accused of irregularities in procuring rations for soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir, who were stationed in Siachen and other high altitude areas. After the decision, army authorities at the 11 Corps have put under formal arrest. Sahni has been found guilty on six out of nine counts he was charged for.

Lt Gen SK Sahni, who had been under custody of the army authorities ever since the GCM started against him August last year here, is one of the highest ranking army officers to be sentenced and arrested.

Plea rejected

Belonging to the Army Service Corps, Sahni, who is under arrest for the last seven months since the GCM commenced, was also divested of the medals and stars. His plea for jail was rejected.

Cashiering from service would entail the withdrawal of all perks he enjoys as a retired officer of the Indian Army, including pension.

Defraud charges

Among the charges for which Sahni was convicted was the intent to defraud in the procurement of rations.

Sahni was also indicted by a report of the Controller of Auditor General (CAG) which revealed that soldiers had been given wheat, rice, pulses and edible oil that was well past their expiry date.

The auditor has also found a serious lack of competition in filing of tenders for the purchase of ration. In fact, it points out that a single vendor bagged contracts for more than 36 per cent of the purchases.

It also said that about-to-expire food items were bought at cheaper rates by contractors and then supplied to army units.

On July 10, 2010, the summary of evidence was completed; giving recommendations to continue disciplinary action against General Sahni and orders for general court martial were issued.

In this regard, a Court of Inquiry which was constituted in 2005 had recommended disciplinary action against him in connection with the case. After his retirement from Army in 2006, the inquiry was initiated.