- As per the sources, Army act was formulated under which its personnel were charged for homosexuality and adultery, but now they would be charged for the same under different section.
- Army has also approached the Defense Minister to raise concerns over the decriminalization of the act.
The Indian Army wants the acts of homosexuality and adultery to kept as punishable offences. They also had approached the Ministry of Defense to have discussions regarding the treatment of homosexuality and adultery in the nation.
They further stated that there were provisions under the Army act under which the personnel were punished for homosexuality and adultery.
The sources said that Army had consulted Defense ministry raising concern over the scrapping the article that considered homosexuality and adultery as punishable offenses. They said keeping both the acts as a deterrent, otherwise there would be serious discipline issues and and it would create command and control problem.
In an interaction with journalists, General Ashwani Kumar, the Adjutant General of the Indian Army , said some cases could be “legally right but ethically wrong”. The branch of Adjutant General is accountable for the welfare and also tackles the complaints of all kinds against the Army personnel at all levels.
“Anything told by the Supreme Court is the law of the land and has to be abided with,” said Kumar.
When he was asked that whether the Army will consider the review of the apex court’s judgement, he said,” How do you know that we haven’t already done so?” We are not going to charge the officer for adultery or homosexuality.”
The Army tackles with such cases under the sections that impose punishment unbefitting of an officer, he said, referring to section 45 under the Army Act.
So, an Army personnel charged under homosexuality and adultery may not be tried under provisions dealing with Army Act, but under Section 45 for behaving in a manner inappropriate to position and behavior expected of him.”
Homosexuality was earlier considered under section 46 which stipulate punishment for any “disgraceful conduct of cruel, indecent or vulgar kind.”
“Depravity on moral grounds is unacceptable”, said Kumar. He further stated that five to six personnel have already been punished for moral corruption.”
The conduct of an Army personnel is governed under the Army Act. Cases of both the aforementioned sexual behaviors are considered as taboo in the Indian Army.
In its parlance, it declares the person guilty on charges of “stealing affection of brother’s spouse.”
Earlier this year, Army chief General Bipin Rawat said that gay sex and infidelity are prohibited in the Indian Army.
“In the Army we never thought this can happen. Anything that was thought of was put in the Army act. It was something which was unheard of when the Army act was formulated. We never thought this is going to happen. Therefore this wasn’t put in the Army act,” General Rawat said.