Press Trust of India
Chandigarh, July 11, 2009
An army court martial has ordered “dismissal” of a woman officer who a year back had accused her seniors of sexually harassing her, but her allegations were found false.
“The court martial has ordered her dismissal from service. Captain Poonam Kaur had been charged on 11 counts including disobedience, making false allegations against superior officers and addressing the media pertaining to service matters,” Kaur’s counsel, Col (retd) S.K. Aggarwal said on Saturday.
Kaur had a year ago alleged that three officers of her unit, the Army Supply Corps (ASC) in Kalka, Haryana had physically and sexually harassed her and confined her illegally when she resisted their advances.
A court of inquiry (COI) had then been ordered to investigate the allegations of physical and mental harassment leveled by Capt Kaur against her superior officers.
She had accused three of her seniors, including her commanding officer, the unit’s second-in-command and adjutant, a Colonel, Lt Col and a Major rank officer respectively, of harassing her over the past few months.
However, in an immediate reaction then, the army had denied the charges.
“The court martial proceedings, which were initiated last year against Capt Kaur, in its order at Patiala on Friday have ordered her dismissal from service, which will be subject to confirmation by the Western Command chief, a process which may take two months,” Aggarwal said.
Antony orders probe into woman army officer’s allegations
Indo-Asian News Service
New Delhi/Chandigarh, July 16, 2008
Defence Minister A.K. Antony on Wednesday ordered the Indian Army to probe into the allegations of “physical and mental torture” levelled by a woman captain against three senior male officers, even as the army said the investigations had begun.
“The minister has taken a serious view of the matter and ordered that it be thoroughly investigated and a report presented to him,” a defence ministry official said in New Delhi.......
“We have to determine who is guilty and for that we have formed a committee that has already started its investigations,” Major General Kamal Mohe told reporters.
“The officer has charged three of her seniors but we cannot take this case at its face value and have to take into account both sides.
“Only after analysing every minute detail of the issue can we reach some conclusion,” said Mohe, Major General Army Service Corps (MGASC) at the Western Command headquarters at Chandi mandir, adjacent to Chandigarh.
“The officers charged by the woman officer also have a social dignity and family life and we owe our fair support to both the parties,” he added.
Captain Poonam Kaur of the Army Supply Corps, based at the Kalka military station, 30 km from Chandigarh, had on Tuesday levelled the allegations before the media and had also complained that she was under house arrest.
Mohe flatly denied this, saying Kaur was free to move anywhere she wanted to.
However, Kaur’s going to the media and giving statements went against the Army Act and this aspect would also be taken into account in the investigation.
The army had immediately denied Kaur’s charges on Tuesday, saying she had a history of making complaints and her “mental weakness” had been recorded in her official profile........
“During December, the officer requested for allotment of married accommodation on compassionate grounds. Though she was unmarried and not authorised married accommodation, her case was sympathetically considered and a married accommodation was allotted to her for her mother to stay with her. Instead her grandmother has been staying with her at present,” the statement said.
On June 30, Kaur was ordered to move to Pathankot for commanding one of the detachments of her unit located there.
“She accepted (the transfer) but citing personal reasons, requested that her move be delayed till July 11. On July 11, when she was again instructed to move, she requested that she be permitted to leave on July 12, which was also agreed to,” the statement said.
On July 12, Kaur “refused to move to Pathankot thereby disobeying legal and legitimate orders. On July 13, she asked for an interview with the Major General ASC at the Western Command headquarters.
“Her request was accepted and she was granted an interview on July 14. She was asked to give her grievance in writing. She refused and returned to her unit,” the statement said.
“On July 15, Major General ASC visited the ASC battalion at Kalka to meet the Commanding Officer as also Kaur. She refused to come out of her quarters to meet the Major General ASC or the Commanding Officer,” the statement added.Women in Army