Thu, 09 Jul 2020

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], Aug 23 (ANI): Three senior officers of the Indian Navy were on Friday recommended for punishment by a court martial for "negligence" in connection with the accident of frontline warship INS Betwa.

In 2016, INS Betwa had tipped over and crashed on its side in the dockyard here, killing two personnel and causing serious damage to the combat vessel.

"The three officers were awarded loss of seniority ranging from four months to six months by the court martial on Friday. The officers include a Captain (Colonel equivalent in the Army) and two Commanders (Lt Col equivalent in the Army)," Navy sources told ANI.

The officers have been recommended to be punished for their negligence in not maintaining the register for weight changes in the warship while it was undergoing refit and overhaul in the naval dockyards here.

They were defended by lawyers Commander DS Randhawa and Cdr YP Singh in the court-martial.

The Navy had started general court martial against the trio after they were found guilty of dereliction of duty by a high-level inquiry panel probing the accident involving the ship.

Official sources said the court-martial proceedings began in Mumbai on July 26 based on findings of the board of inquiry which carried out a detailed investigation into the accident on December 5, 2016Two sailors were killed when the Brahmaputra-class guided-missile frigate tipped over in the dry dock in Mumbai, in a first of its kind accident in the Indian Navy's history.

The 3,850-tonne vessel crashed to its side during undocking, triggering severe criticism against the Navy.

The punishment recommended by the court martial will now have to be confirmed by the authorities concerned for it to be implemented. (ANI)

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