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Goa casino gambling case of 2017-Armed Forces Tribunal sets aside General Court Martial proceedings


Mumbai/Ahmedabad, July 20: In the famous Goa Casino Gambling case that grabbed national headlines in 2017 in which a number of officers and other ranks of  Signal Training Centre Goa, were tried and punished by the General Court Martials(GCMs) held at Goa from July 2020 onwards, the Armed Forces Regional Bench Mumbai comprising of Justice Shailendra Shukla and Vice Admiral Abhay Raghunath Karve on July 12, 2023 have set aside the entire proceedings of the GCM as time-barred under the Army Act and granted full relief in the case of Lt Col NK Pal, who was incidentally the first officer to be tried by the General Court Martial. 

The matter was extensively and vociferously argued for over two-years by the Applicant Counsel, Lt Col M Anand (Retd), Nasik-based advocate practising at Armed Forces Tribunal Mumbai. 
In a Landmark 17-page judgment, the Tribunal has in a finely worded judgement considered the factual details and points of law relating to the period of limitation under the Army Act while setting aside the proceedings of the Court Martial. 
The Union of India is likely to file an appeal in the Supreme Court as this order will have far-reaching consequences, resulting in the ultimate acquittal of all persons tried by these Court Martials, including the prime accused NK Naidu, who is serving a seven-year jail term for carrying out financial misappropriation to the tune of over Rs1crore back then. 
The judgment has been hailed in legal circles as an exemplary one.