Fending off one scandal after another, the army has ordered a general court martial (GCM) of a lieutenant colonel in the eye of the storm for allegedly sexually harassing a woman.
The complainant was a civilian staff on probation in the Army’s military intelligence directorate. She has accused the officer of using criminal force to assault her sexually. A court of inquiry conducted by Headquarters Delhi Area recommended the GCM, which will convene shortly. Having faced flak for “gender insensitivity” on several occasions, the army is showing no leniency towards officers whose personal conduct has been dubious while dealing with women.
Defence Minister AK Antony had last week sought a report from army chief General JJ Singh on sexual harassment charges made by a woman officer against Major General AK Lal, commander of the Karu-based 3 Infantry Division.
Captain Neha Rawat, a Signals officer, had moved a complaint against the general alleging that he had misbehaved with her.
The army ordered an investigation and attached Lal to the Srinagar-based 15 Corps. The army is also on the verge of initiating disciplinary action against a retired lieutenant general from the Army Service Corps who had been indicted for various lapses in procurement of dry rations last year.
This comes after the Delhi High Court refused his plea to stay proceedings against him for more than a year. Sources said Lieutenant General SK Sahni (retd) was likely to be attached to an army formation for hearing of charges and summary of evidence. He retired as director general of supplies and transport last September. Sahni along with a major general, two brigadiers and six junior officers from the ASC were indicted for various lapses in procurement of dry rations last year.
The army has investigated corruption charges against several top officers in the recent past and found over 40 of them to be guilty in a long list of scams.