The army has closed the case against Col Navin S Grewal of 13 Sikh Light Infantry, accused of sexually harassing junior officers' wives, as the General Court Martial (GCM) going on against him at Ferozepur became time barred.
The orders issued by the Army Commander, Western Command, were conveyed to Col Grewal on Tuesday.
"According to the law, a GCM has to start within three years of the knowledge of the allegations to the competent authority to initiate action. The army had knowledge of offence since 2010 but they started the trial in 2014," said Rajeev Anand, counsel for Col Grewal. The petition of Grewal before the Chandigarh Bench of the AFT against the GCM has become infructuous.
Col Grewal had maintained that the officers' wives had lodged false complaints to save their husbands' careers after their poor performance; and that the charges were barred by limitation. He told the court that he had complained about his junior officers against whom no action was taken.
According to the chargesheet, among the 18 charges against him was that Col Grewal in February 2010 had "improperly" pulled the hands of wives of his junior officers on the pretext of palmistry at Jalandhar Cantonment. Then in February, March and May 2010, he allegedly "improperly" pulled the hands of officers' wives on the "pretext of dance". In March 2010, while clicking pictures of wives of two junior officers near Chohal dam in Himachal Pradesh, he had allegedly passed a lewd remark.
In March the same year, he allegedly "improperly" tickled the feet of an officer's wife by his foot at Jalandhar Cantonment. On the same day, he allegedly passed a lewd remark at another officer's wife.
In March and April 2010, he allegedly sent e-mails to wives of "two officers containing lewd overtones".
In April the same year, he allegedly "twitched the nose" of an officer's wife and "kissed her on the cheeks".
In June 2010, he allegedly remarked to another officer's wife that he "treated her like his wife and that she was not discharging her duties properly".
In July 2010, he allegedly "improperly took an officer' wife to his house and then into his bedroom". In August 2010, he allegedly went to a junior officer's house in his absence and stayed there with his wife for a few hours.