The Army has ordered that a Colonel be tried by a General Courts Martial (GCM) on the charges of having an “inappropriate relationship” with the wife of another.
General Officer Commanding, Delhi Area, Lt Gen Asit Mistry has ordered that the officer, who originally belongs to Rajputana Rifles, but is currently serving with National Cadet Corps (NCC) in Uttar Pradesh, should be tried by a GCM. The Colonel has been attached with the 505 Base Workshop of the Army for the purpose of disciplinary proceedings launched against him.
As per documents accessed by The Indian Express, the Colonel was slapped with the charges under Section 45 of the Army Act, which deals with unbecoming conduct as an officer, in 2015 in New Delhi. The officer has also been charged with sending sexually-explicit video message to the wife of the Colonel and improperly indulging “in sexually explicit chatting on WhatsApp” with her.
If found guilty, the accused could be sentenced to cashiering from service and rigorous imprisonment. Under cashiering, an officer forfeits his pension, gratuity and leave encashment. The Indian Express had earlier reported that an Army Court of Inquiry had used technical evidence? phone call records, mobile tower locations and WhatsApp messages ? to establish the charges against the officer.
The Court of Inquiry also took note of the complainant husband’s deposition that when he brought the matter to the notice of the Colonel of the Regiment, an officer of the rank of Lt General, the latter told him to stay away from his estranged wife. The Court of Inquiry is learnt to have noted that despite its best efforts, it could not secure the attendance of the Colonel of the Regiment as a witness, and had to conclude the inquiry after verbal directions from superiors.
The complainant Colonel, who was commanding an infantry battalion in Jammu and Kashmir, had made a complaint through a demi-official letter, dated August 13, 2015, addressed to the then Brigade Commander with a copy to General Officer Commanding, 19 Infantry Division; General Officer Commanding, 15 Corps; Director General, NCC; General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Northern Command; the then Chief of Army Staff, General Dalbir Singh and the then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. In this letter, he had alleged that another officer of the rank of Colonel, who was from his battalion and under whom he had served for several years and was now posted in the
NCC, had been sending sexually-explicit messages to his wife and that he believed both were in an illicit relationship. The Court of Inquiry found that both the Colonels were from the same battalion, which the complainant had joined in 1999, while the accused officer was the adjutant of the unit. Since then, they had served together in many locations, including, Chandimandir. The inquiry noted that the complainant Colonel had synchronised the mobile number of his wife with his laptop and after seeing the messages being exchanged by his wife and the accused Colonel, it became clear to him that the two were having an extramarital affair.