The Armed Forces Tribunal has upheld the dismissal of a senior non-commissioned officer, who was sacked from the Indian Air Force (IAF) for allegedly molesting a child inside a temple. The judgement was in response to a plea filed by the officer in question, Warrant Officer, Shashikant Tiwari, urging the Tribunal to quash his dismissal and reinstate him with all consequential benefits.
Tiwari was dismissed from service without pension after a fellow officer complained to senior IAF officials at the Palam air base in New Delhi, that Tiwari had tried to "misbehave" with his minor son inside the temple premises at the station. After the complaint was lodged, the IAF ordered a one-man inquiry into the incident and it was recommended that Tiwari be dismissed from service by taking administrative action against him.
In his plea, Tiwari also argued that he should have been court martialled before being dismissed from service. This would have enabled him to cross-examine all witnesses and provided legal space for an identification parade. In its reply, the IAF stated that there was no need for an identification parade and a court martial was avoided as the, "case was of a serious nature involving a child", and it wanted to, "spare the child further trauma". Observing that "no injustice" was done to Tiwari, the Tribunal Bench headed by Justice Manak Mohta and Lt Gen Z U Shah said, "The convening authority took recourse to administrative action in order to avoid trauma to the child."
Rejecting the petition, the Tribunal further said,"The formal investigation indicates that allegations against the applicant were established. Warrant Officer, S K Tiwari is not entitled to a pension as he was dismissed from service. No injustice has been done to the applicant."