Two officers facing court martial for their alleged role in an incident of ‘friendly fire’ resulting in shooting down of an IAF Mi-17 chopper at Budgam on February 27, 2019 — a day after the Balakot strikes — have approached the Armed Forces Tribunal to stop proceedings and grant them access to the court of inquiry report.
The case has thrown up a tricky legal question. Usually, the court of inquiry report is shared with the accused so that they can prepare a defence. In this case, however, a special clause has been invoked to not share details on grounds of national security.
Group Captain Suman Roy Chowdhury, the then second-in-command of the Srinagar air base as the chief operations officer (COO) who has been indicted, has moved the principal bench of the tribunal