Guwahati: Sukhna land scam accused Lt Gen (Retired) Awadesh Prasad on Tuesday challenged the jurisdiction of the court conducting his court martial.

As soon as the court met in the afternoon for the trial, the defence (Prasad) put up the petition challenging the constitution of the court's members to conduct the court martial.

The prosecution said reply would be given on June 30 and adjourned the court until that date.

As per the procedure of conducting court martial, Prasad was given the opportunity to challenge the constitution of the court members who would be trying him.

The general court martial proceedings against retired Lt Gen Prakash began on Monday in the 51 sub area army military station at Narengi amid tight security.

According to army sources here, several hearings will be conducted in the general court martial, the first held in the military station and the final verdict was expected to take some time.

Prakash was held guilty by the court of inquiry last year and prior to his retirement on January 31, 2010, his court martial orders were given following the intervention of Defence Minister A K Antony.

Prakash, who was the military secretary in former Army Chief Deepak Kumar's office, could lose his rank and face a pension cut under severe reprimand.

Apart from Prakash, Lt Gen P K Rath, Lt Gen Ramesh Halgali and Major Gen P K Sen were also found guilty of illegally alloting land near Sukhna cantonment to private builders.

During his court martial, Rath was seriously reprimanded and lost two years seniority besides 15 years pension cut.

Agencies