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Woman army officer jailed

Major Dimple Singla on Wednesday became the first woman defence officer in India to be sentenced for corruption.

india Updated: Mar 05, 2010 00:58 IST
Bhartesh Singh Thakur
Bhartesh Singh Thakur
Hindustan Times

Major Dimple Singla on Wednesday became the first woman defence officer in India to be sentenced for corruption.

A general court martial presided over by Colonel Sanjeev Jose, late on Wednesday night ordered Major Singla to be cashiered and sent to a year’s rigorous imprisonment.

She can file a pre-confirmation petition before the Army Commander, Western Command, and after that approach the Armed Forces Tribunal.

After nearly three years of proceedings, the court martial found her guilty accepting Rs 10,000 from advocate Ambrish Sharma, who was defending the court martial case of a jawan in which she was the Judge Advocate General.

Major Singla was also accused of violating order and discipline when she recommended a defence lawyer to an accused havildar, Chandran, facing another court martial.

In the second case, she was accused of improperly visiting Captain Kamud Maini, who was defending Chandran’s case, and asked him not to divulge any information to the press regarding the case.

Two other women defence officers have been tried and found guilty before Major Singla — though not for corruption.

On March 3 this year, the Indian Air Force dismissed Flying Officer Anjali Gupta for acts of indiscipline in 2005.

Last year, Captain Poonam Kaur of the Army Supply Corps was dismissed. She was the first woman officer to be dismissed from the Army on charges of levelling false allegations of physical and mental harassment against her senior officers. She was charged with improper media interaction and for failing to appear for an interview with a senior officer.

Major Singla was commissioned into the army’s Judge Advocate Branch in 1997.

A report published in HT in August 2005 alleged that her husband, also a lawyer, was influencing the court martial proceedings in which she was deputed as judge advocate general. A court of inquiry was ordered and completed against her that year.

Major Singla was to retire on March 7, 2007 but the army took disciplinary action against her before that.

First Published: Mar 05, 2010 00:57 IST