Monday, November 11, 2013


I have written extensively in the past on the lopsided manner of dispensing justice in the military, particularly in the Army. Time and again examples come forth on how, either, deterrent punishments were not awarded to those convicted of crimes of severe gravity, or, punishment meted out for certain offences was too harsh and not commensurate with the offence committed. Yet there does not seem to be any haste being shown by the Army authorities to correct these imbalances which have crept into the system and have now institutionalized themselves. The Judge Advocate General's Branch seems to be too lethargic to initiate any reforms while the Army Headquarters seems supremely indifferent to the adverse effect this can have on the morale of the rank and file.

The present case is extremely distressing. And the manner in which the aggrieved officer has had to run around pillar to post is also a matter of shame. And he is yet to get full justice.

It is imperative that the identities of the two officers involved in this case be kept confidential, at least at this stage, even though I believe that such protection is more needed by the aggrieved officer than by the one who is accused of the offence.

The fact of the matter is that this case pertains to two officers of the rank of Colonel who enjoyed friendship throughout their career right from their days in the College of Military Engineering. This friendship, secured in their youth, continued as they rose in their career and there was nothing amiss in their relationship. And then the aggrieved officer was posted to a field area and he had to leave his family back in Noida.
It was alleged by this officer that taking advantage of his absence from the station, the accused officer took undue advantage and not only established deep friendly relations with his wife but also developed physical relations with her.

The aggrieved officer contended that he found out these facts while packing for moving to another station and found the diary of his wife which contained the incriminating evidence. His immediate action was to have complained to the Colonel of the Regiment who was also then the Vice Chief of Army Staff. he was initially advised to ignore this indiscretion because of adverse effect it might have on his child. However, the officer could not accept the facts and made a formal complaint following which a Court of Inquiry was ordered by the competent authority.

The aggrieved officer contended that the Court of Inquiry found the accused officer guilty of the offence and the convening authority, i.e. GOC 1 Corps, recommended termination of services of the accused officer. However, much to the consternation of the aggrieved officer no action was taken against the accused officer and in the meantime he was approved for the rank of Brigadier by the selection board.

Since he was not promoted to the next rank despite being approved the accused officer moved the concerned bench of the AFT which gave him relief saying that since the Army had taken no action against him and his juniors had been promoted the Army should promoted him too. Inexplicable, the JAG branch did not recommend filing an appeal in the Supreme Court in this case even though they go to the SC on the slightest pretext, even when it concerns the welfare of ex-servicemen!

The aggrieved officer immediately moved the AFT in Delhi praying for justice and pointing out how grave injustice was being done to him. In the meantime, after AFT took notice of the matter the authorities awarded "Severe Displeasure" to the officer who was found blameworthy by the Court of Inquiry. Now this is ridiculous to say the least. Here is an offence where officers, JCOs and ORs have been dismissed from service for culpability yet this officer was awarded a milder punishment! What benchmark do authorities have for awarding punishments? Or do they have any benchmarks at all? Are punishments awarded on whims and fancies by persons exercising their power?

Another more serious question which is raised by this episode is whether there was a concerted attempt to ensure that the accused officer gets away and picks up the rank of Brigadier and which is why no punishment was awarded to him despite the Court of Inquiry having been completed? Also, there are reports that efforts are still being made by certain quarters to see if this officer can still pick up the next rank.

It is time for the people sitting in higher echelons to wake up and smell the coffee. Times are changing. This is the age of information dissemination at real time. News travels fast and bad news travels faster. Get a grip on affairs before things go out of control.


  1. " Stealing the affections"...the poor pativrata woman has no say in the matter...NOW this is what I find ridiculous in this day and age..sadly the woman canot be accused of adultry...I wonder how women of today desperate to be granted equality by men wait for it to be granted instead of taking it !!

  2. I wonder where does the phrase STEALING LOVE came from...If the relationships are mutual , why is it a taboo or crime in armed forces.. with mutual consent or may be with arguments, people take divorces if they feel they want to spend their life with another partner.. otherwise there should be a phrase FORCING LOVE also. Humans are humans whether in Military or civil and we say -we all are brothers!! Let the couple only decide , its such a personal and intricate matter.. How do we punish someone for falling in love and calling it STEALING..??? come on its time to change !!Punish people for outraging modesty, sexual harassment and molestation and rape .. U simply cannot punish people for falling in love with someone and dismiss him.. The couple should be counselled.Every person has RIGHT To Freedom.. Let them choose .. No woman or man with a strong bonding & trust will fall prey to any extra marital stuff ..

  3. In Army discipline is only meant for Jawans and young officers!! There are so many stories how the officers have stolen the affection of their brother officers wives and also got promoted to next rank. It is only the officers below the rank of major who are not permitted to do this type of un officer like activity. Othere wise gala is the thing for everyone.!!!!!!! Three Cheers Indian Army