News Indian Army calls off ongoing court martial proceedings against top spy Hunky Bakshi

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SOURCE: INDIA TODAY

In a major development, the Indian Army on Friday ended the six-year ordeal of the top spy and commanding officer of the controversial snooping unit Technical Support Division (TSD) Colonel Huny Bakshi as the force called off the ongoing court-martial proceedings against him at Ambala cantonment for alleged mishandling of classified information.

The cases against members of the unit had started soon after the retirement of General VK Singh in May 2012 and continued for almost six years as the TSD commanding officer was attached for court-martial as a Havaldar from his unit was allegedly caught with classified information in 2012 by the officials of Department of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) in Kerala.

“The General Court Martial (GCM) held at Ambala decided on Thursday night at 1.30 am that a number of rules had not been complied with during the attachment of Bakshi for the disciplinary proceedings and that is why, it was decided that no further action can be taken against him and the proceedings have been called off,” Army sources told Mail Today.

The TSD was created by Singh in the aftermath of the 26/11 terrorist attacks on Mumbai in 2010 which was tasked for carrying out special operations both within and outside the country.

Reacting to the development, Singh told Mail Today that he was quite relieved “that the action against the officer had been called off after such a long time” and expressed hope that these assets can now devote their time in serving the nation.

The members of the unit were termed as ‘deep assets’ by former defence minister Manohar Parrikar as they were involved in carrying out cross-border operations including the planting of improvised explosive devices (IED) on Pakistani positions across the Line of Control (LoC) during their stint in the unit to avenge the deaths of Indian soldiers there.

The unit included members from the Corps of Military Intelligence and an explosive expert in Lt Col Birdie from the Corps of Engineers. During Singhs date of birth tussle with defence ministry, the unit was accused of being involved in snooping on conversations of the defence ministry officials.

It was also alleged that the members of the unit were behind an NGO in Kashmir, which had gone to court against Singhs successor to scuttle his chances. Soon after General Bikram Singh took over, the TSD was disbanded and the unit officers were thrown out of the Corps of Military Intelligence.

A board of officers was also formed which recommended a CBI inquiry against the unit and its actions which was rejected by the government.

The action against Bakshi continued even during the tenure of General Dalbir Singh Suhag as Bakshi was attached to a unit in Nabha in Punjab for disciplinary action. The court-martial proceedings were called off for non-compliance of Army Rule 180, which gives the right to personnel for cross-examining witnesses against them.

The court also found that the Army inquiry had not complied with the Army Rule 525 and the Confidential and Handling of Confidential Document (CHCD) manual, which deals with the ways of handling cases related to dealing with classified information loss.