Budgam ‘friendly fire’ accused IAF officers seek to stop court martial

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

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