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THE ARMY ACT, 1950

Title : THE ARMY ACT, 1950

Year : 1950



CHAPTER X

COURTS-MARTIAL


108.Kinds of courts-martial.


108. Kinds of courts-martial. For the purposes of this Act there shall be four kinds of courts-martial, that is to say,-

(a) general courts-martial ;

(b) district courts-martial ;

(c) summary general courts-martial; and

(d) summary courts-martial.




109.Power to convene a general court-martial.


109. Power to convene a general court-martial. A general court-
martial may be convened by the Central Government or 1 [the Chief of the Army Staff ] or by any officer empowered in this behalf by warrant of 1 [the Chief of the Army Staff ].


110.Power to convene a district court-martial.


110. Power to convene a district court-martial. A district court-
martial may be convened by an officer having power to convene a general court-martial or by any officer empowered in this behalf by warrant of any such officer.


111.Contents of warrants issued under sections 109 and 110.111. Contents of warrants issued under sections 109 and 110. A
warrant issued under section 109 or section 110 may contain such restrictions, reservations or conditions as the officer issuing, it may think fit.


112.Power to convene a summary general court-martial.


112. Power to convene a summary general court-martial. The following authorities shall have power to convene a summary general court-martial, namely,-



(a) an officer empowered in this behalf by an order of the
Central Government or of 1[the Chief of the Army Staff];

(b) on active service, the officer commanding the forces in the field, or any officer empowered by him in this behalf;


(c) an officer commanding any detached portion of the regular Army on active service when, in his opinion, it is not practicable, with due regard to discipline and the exi-
gencies of the service, that an offence should be tried by a general court-martial.


113.Composition of general court-martial.


113. Composition of general court-martial. A general court-
martial shall consist of not less than five officers, each of whom has held a commission for not less than three

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1 Subs. by Act 19 of 1955, s. 2, and Sch., for." the
Commander-in-Chief ".
----------------------------------------------------------------------




250




whole years and of whom not less than four are of a rank not below that of captain.


114.Composition of district court-martial.


114. Composition of district court-martial. A district court-
martial shall consist of not less than three officers, each of whom has held a commission for not less than two whole years.


115.Composition of summary general court-martial.


115. Composition of summary general court-martial. A summary general court-martial shall consist of not less than three officers.


116.Summary court-martial.


116. Summary court-martial. (1) A summary court-martial may be held by the commanding officer of any corps, department or detachment of the regular Army, and he shall alone constitute the court.

(2) The proceedings shall be attended throughout by two other persons who shall be officers or junior commissioned officers or one of either, and who shall not as such, be sworn or affirmed.


117.Dissolution of courts-martial.


117. Dissolution of courts-martial. (1) If a court-martial after the commencement of a trial is reduced below the minimum number of officers required by this Act, it shall be dissolved.

(2) If, on account of the illness of the judge advocate or of the accused before the finding, it is impossible to continue the trial, a court-martial shall be dissolved.

(3) The officer who convened a court-martial may dissolve such court-martial if it appears to him that military exigencies or the necessities of discipline render it impossible or inexpedient to continue the said court-martial.

(4) Where a court-martial is dissolved under this section, the accused may be tried again.


118.Powers of general and summary general courts-martial.


118. Powers of general and summary general courts-martial. A
general or summary general court-martial shall have power to try any person subject to this Act for any offence punishable therein and to pass any sentence authorised thereby.


119.Powers of district courts-martial.


119. Powers of district courts-martial. A district court-
martial shall have power to try any person subject to this Act other than an officer or a junior commissioned officer for any offence made punishable therein, and to pass any sentence authorised by this
Act other than a sentence of death, transportation, or imprisonment for a term exceeding two years:

Provided that a district court-martial shall not sentence a warrant officer to imprisonment.


120.Powers of summary courts-martial.


120. Powers of summary courts-martial. (1) Subject to the provisions of sub-section (2), a summary court-martial may try any offence punishable under this Act.

(2) When there is no grave reason for immediate action and reference can without detriment to discipline be made to the officer empowered to convene a district court-martial or on active service








251.


a summary general court-martial for the trial of the alleged offender, an officer holding a summary court-martial shall not try without such reference any offence punishable under any of the sections 34, 37 and
69, or any offence against the officer holding the court.

(3) A summary court-martial may try any person subject to this
Act and under the command of the officer holding the court, except an officer, junior commissioned officer or warrant officer.

(4) A summary court-martial may pass any sentence which may be passed under this Act, except a sentence of death or transportation, or of imprisonment for a term exceeding the limit specified in sub-
section (5).

(5) The limit referred to in sub-section (4) shall be one year if the officer holding the summary court-martial is of the rank of lieutenantcolonel and upwards, and three months if such officer is below that rank.


121.Prohibition of second trial.


121. Prohibition of second trial. When any person subject to this
Act has been acquitted or convicted of an offence by a court-martial or by a criminal court, or has been dealt with under any of the sections 80, 83, 84 and 85, he shall not be liable to be tried again for the same offence by a court-
martial or dealt with under the said sections.


122.Period of limitation for trial.


122. Period of limitation for trial. (1) Except as provided by sub-section (2), no trial by court-martial of any person subject to this Act for any offence shall be commenced after the expiration of a period of three years 1[and such period shall commence,-


(a) on the date of the offence; or

(b) where the commission of the offence was not known to the person aggrieved by the offence or to the authority com-
petent to initiate action, the first day on which such offence comes to the knowledge of such person or authority, whichever is earlier; or

(c) where it is not known by whom the offence was com-
mitted, the first day on which the identity of the offender is known to the person aggrieved by the offence or to the authority competent to initiate action,whichever is earlier.]



(2) The provisions of sub-section (1) shall not apply to a trial for an offence of desertion or fraudulent enrolment or for any of the offences mentioned in section 37.(3) In the computation of the period of time mentioned in sub-
section (1), any time spent by such person as a prisoner of war, or in enemy territory, or in evading arrest after the commission of the offence, shall be excluded.

(4) No trial for an offence of desertion other than desertion on active service or of fraudulent enrolment shall be commenced if the person in question, not being an officer, has subsequently to the commission of the offence, served continuously in an exemplary manner for not less than three years with any portion of the regular Army.


123.Liability of offender who ceases to be subject to Act.


123. Liability of offender who ceases to be subject to Act. (1)
Where an offence under this Act had been committed by any person while subject to this Act, and he has ceased to be so subject, he may be taken into and kept in military custody, and tried and punished for such offence as if he continued to be so subject.

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1 Subs. by Act 37 of 1992, s.9.-----------------------------------------------------------------------





252.
(2) No such person shall be tried for an offence, unless his trial commences 1[within a period of three years after he had ceased to be subject to this Act; and in computing such period, the time during which such person has avoided arrest by absconding or concealing himself or where the institution of the proceeding in respect of the offence has been stayed by an injunction or order, the period of the continuance of the injunction or order, the day on which it was issued or made, and the day on which it was withdrawn, shall be excluded:]



Provided that nothing contained in this sub-section shall apply to the trial of any such person for an offence of desertion or fraudulent enrolment or for any of the offences mentioned in section
37 or shall affect the jurisdiction of a criminal court to try any offence triable by such court as well as by a court-martial.

(3) When a person subject to this Act is sentenced by a court-
martial to transportation or imprisonment, this Act shall apply to him during the term of his sentence, though he is cashiered or dismissed from the regular Army, or has otherwise ceased to be subject to this
Act, and he may be kept, removed, imprisoned and punished as if he continued to be subject to this Act.

(4) When a person subject to this Act is sentenced by a court-
martial to death, this Act shall apply to him till the sentence is carried out.


124.Place of trial.


124. Place of trial. Any person subject to this Act who commits any offence against it may be tried and punished for such offence in any place whatever.


125.Choice between criminal court and court-martial.


125. Choice between criminal court and court-martial. When a criminal court and a court-martial have each jurisdiction in respect of an offence, it shall be in the discretion of the officer commanding the army, army corps, division or independent brigade in which the accused person is serving or such other officer as may be prescribed to decide before which court the proceedings shall be instituted, and, if that officer decides that they should be instituted before a court-
martial, to direct that the accused person shall be detained in military custody.


126.Power of criminal court to require delivery of offender.


126. Power of criminal court to require delivery of offender. (1)
When a criminal court having jurisdiction is of opinion that proceedings shall be instituted before itself in respect of any alleged offence, it may, by written notice, require the officer referred to in section 125 at his option, either to deliver over the offender to the nearest magistrate to be proceeded against according to law, or to postpone proceedings pending a reference to the Central
Government.

(2) In every such case the said officer shall either deliver over the offender in compliance with the requisition, or shall forthwith refer the question as to the court before which the proceedings are to be instituted for the determination of the Central
Government, whose order upon such reference shall be final.


2***

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1 Subs. by Act 37 of 1992, s.10.2 Omitted by s.11, ibid.
Last updated on May, 2015

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