An Army court martial has sentenced a woman Major of the Military Intelligence to be dismissed from service on charges of ‘unbecoming conduct’ for having an affair with a married Major.
The male officer, who belongs to Infantry, has also been been punished by another court martial for ‘unbecoming conduct’ and has been sentenced to be cashiered (stripped of rank and benefits) and given three months rigorous imprisonment.
The two officers faced charges under Section 45 of the Army Act which deals with unbecoming conduct by an officer. While the woman Major’s Summary General Courts Martial (SGCM) concluded in Jammu Sunday, the male officer’s trial gave its verdict in first week of January.
The disciplinary proceedings against the two officers began after the wife of the Major complained to the Chief of Army Staff and the Adjutant General about her husband’s ‘affair’ with the woman officer. The complainant attached several photographs and video clips as evidence of the same.
The lady officer was posted with the Northern Command Counter Intelligence Unit when she was ordered to face the trial. The male Major was serving with a Special Forces unit when the two came to know each other but he was later reverted back to his parent infantry battalion.
While the Supreme Court has ruled that adultery is not a crime, the Army takes a dim view of even consensual relationships between its male and female officers with the view that it affects the fabric of interpersonal relationship and is detrimental to maintaining discipline.
The woman Major had been in news earlier for a botched intelligence operation in Assam in December 2011. It was in the backdrop of this operation, among other issues, that the then Chief of Army Staff, Gen V K Singh, had held Lt Gen Dalbir Singh, then GOC 3 Corps and later Army Chief, responsible for improper handling of 3 Corps Intelligence and Surveillance Unit and had issued a show cause notice for censure just days before proceeding on retirement.
The show cause notice delayed the elevation of Lt Gen Dalbir Singh has General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Command, and it was only after this notice had been set aside post-retirement of Gen VK Singh, that he was able to assume office.
In 2013, the then General Officer Commanding 3 Corps, Lt Gen S L Narsimhan, had ordered that the woman officer, who was then a Major, and who led the operation in the intervening night of December 20-21, 2011, be tried summarily.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines