Judgment on Discharge Order for Habitual Offender

In a recent judgment by the Supreme Court of India, a discharge order for a habitual offender was upheld. The case involved multiple instances of absence without valid explanation, leading to rigorous imprisonment. Despite opportunities to present a defense, the appellant failed to provide adequate justification for their actions. The judgment serves as a reminder of the importance of duty and accountability in the Armed Forces.


  • Appellant received show-cause notice for seven punishments during his service.
  • Appellant attributed his mistakes to family problems and promised no further errors.
  • General Officer Commanding recorded appellant as a habitual offender warranting discharge.
  • Counsel referenced a case stating red ink entries alone are insufficient for discharge.

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  • The appellant did not offer any explanation in the reply filed, except for vague family circumstances, despite being given adequate opportunity to present his defense.
  • The appellant was absent from duty on seven occasions without providing any explanation.
  • He was punished with rigorous imprisonment ranging from 2 days to 28 days for each instance of absence.
  • Being a member of the Armed Forces, he cannot take duty lightly and abstain at his will.
  • The order of discharge cannot be considered unjustified given his repeated absences and subsequent punishments.
  • The Commanding Officer has noted the appellant as a habitual offender, further justifying the discharge decision.
  • The enquiry conducted, as per para 5(a) of the Army Instructions, is not a regular enquiry but a preliminary one aimed at fair decision-making based on the reply filed.
  • The judgment in Veerendra Kumar Dubey case does not invalidate the punishment in this case, as the test of preliminary enquiry was satisfied by considering the appellant’s explanation.
  • The type of enquiry required depends on the specific facts of each case.
  • The appellant was absent from duty on seven occasions
  • The order of discharge of the appellant was found to be error-free

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  • The appeal is dismissed

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Case Number: C.A. No.-001857 / 2018

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