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Nepal Table of Contents



The military court system consisted basically of courtsmartial , similar in composition and jurisdiction to those of the Indian Army. Courts-martial were of four kinds: general, district, summary general, and summary. A general court-martial was convened by the king or an officer deputized by him. It consisted of five or more officers, each with three or more years of commissioned service. Attending the court, but not a member, was an officer of the Department of the Judge Advocate General or an officer designated by the judge advocate general. The court was authorized to impose any sentence prescribed by army regulations. A district court-martial consisted of three or more officers, each with a minimum of three years of commissioned service, and could impose any sentence other than the death penalty. A summary general courtmartial consisted of three or more officers, with no requirement as to the length of their commissioned service. A summary courtmartial was convened by an officer of the rank of battalion commander or above, who acted as the court.

The death sentence, banned in civilian cases under the 1990 constitution, was imposed for treason, mutiny, desertion, inciting panic, and surrender of troops, arms, or garrisons to the enemy with a finding of cowardice. Authorized punishment for dereliction of military duties or regulations in time of war generally was twice as severe as that prescribed for the same offense committed in peacetime. Contact with foreign diplomats and attachés, however innocuous, was strictly forbidden. A few high-ranking officers in army headquarters were allowed to interact with foreigners but only on official matters. Failure to observe this rule could damage a soldier's promotion prospects or lead to disciplinary action.

The disciplinary powers of officers and noncommissioned officers were more extensive than in the United States military service. Unit commanders could impose up to thirty days' confinement in prison or restriction to barracks. The most common forms of company punishment included extra guard duty, suspension from duty or from supervisory assignments, fines of up to fourteen days' pay, detention of pay until a financial or property loss was compensated, reprimand, and warning. Junior commanders could demote officers with the rank of hudda (sergeant) or lower.

Data as of September 1991