Defence Act 1954
Capital offences by commanders when in action.
124.— Every officer subject to military law and in command of a State ship, service aircraft, defence establishment, unit or other element of the Defence Forces—
( a) who, when under orders to carry out an operation of war or on coming into contact with an enemy that it is his duty to engage, negligently or through other default, does not use his utmost exertion to bring the officers and men under his command or his ship, aircraft, or his other matériel into action, or
( b) who, when capable of making a successful defence, surrenders his ship, aircraft, vehicle, defence establishment, matériel or unit to the enemy, or
( c) who, being in action, unjustifiably withdraws from the action, or
( d) who unjustifiably fails to pursue an enemy or to consolidate a position gained, or
( e) who unjustifiably fails to relieve or assist a known friend to the utmost of his power, or
( f) who, when in action, unjustifiably forsakes his station,
in guilty of an offence against military law and shall, on conviction by court-martial, be liable to suffer F70 [ imprisonment for life ] or any less punishment awardable by a court-martial.