During the military trial, an Army brigadier on Wednesday was granted a 10-year loss of seniority and ‘a severe reprimand’ by a general court martial after he pleaded guilty for having a sexual relation with a colonel’s wife. The brigadier will not get promoted to the next rank of a major general in case he chooses to continue in service after the sentence. The brigadier was commanding a crucial infantry brigade meant for the front with China under the 33 Corps in Sukna (West Bengal).
Engaging in a sexual affair with a brother officer’s wife is considered a very serious crime and inappropriate conduct in the armed forces. Usually, officers indicted for such offence are immediately dismissed, sometimes without pension and other benefits. “But the punishment is relatively less in the brigadier’s case because he pleaded guilty to the charges,” said an officer.
The brigadier faced a total number of 13 charges, including adultery, falsifying official documents and violation of good order and military discipline, during the court martial held at Binaguri under the Kolkata-based Eastern Army Command. The court martial against the senior officer, who had earlier faced a court of inquiry (CoI) and summary of evidence (roughly equivalent to charge-sheeting and framing of charges in a civilian court), was headed by a major general commanding a mountain division and included six brigadiers.
The armed forces have been hit by a string of sex scandals in recent years. The IAF, for instance, dismissed a fighter pilot for having an affair with a senior officer’s wife. The Navy sacked two commander-rank officers in Mumbai, one for having an extra-marital affair and the other for sending lewd text messages to several women. Engaging in a sexual affair with a brother officer’s wife is considered a very serious crime and inappropriate conduct in the armed forces.