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SC notice on PIL seeking end to Sahayak system in army

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has sought the central government’s response on a PIL seeking the abolition of the sahayak/buddy system in army which continues despite a parliamentary committee deprecating the practice and recommending its discontinuation.

The bench headed by Justice J. Chelameswar on Friday issued notice to the government on a PIL by two ex-army personnel – Chandrasekhara Pillai and advocate P.J. George, who are the General Secretary and President respectively of the Association of Ex-Army Aviation Technicians.

The petitioners have also sought probe into the “unnatural” death of Gunner Roy Matthews, who had appeared on a sting by a TV channel on the practice, and was missing from February 25 till his decomposed body was recovered on March 2, about 50 meters from the staff quarters where he lived.

Suspecting foul play in the death, the petitioners have alleged that certain officers were trying to hush up the soldier’s death by trying to portray it as suicide.

They also have contended that even though air force and navy have abolished the Sahayak system but the army continues with it despite the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence Ministry recommending its discontinuation way back in 2009.

—IANS