The #Indian Army has a strong connection with the British Indian Army that earlier served the East India Company and later the Crown. Indian army law is based on the original Articles of War, drafted during the days of the Raj in 1891. Later these formed the basis of the Indian Army Act 1950. As per the act, all officers and any crime carrying more than two years imprisonment are to be tried by a General Court Martial. A GCM was convened at HQs 33 Corps at Bengudubi in North Bengal to try a senior #Brigadier for an extramarital affair with a Lt. Colonels wife. The GCM was presided over by a Major General with 6 Brigadiers as members. The Army officer was commanding a regiment on the India-China border.

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The Brigadier pleaded guilty to the charge which accused him of "stealing the affections" of a fellow officers wife. He was also charged with an Act Prejudicial to Good Order and Discipline, as per the Army Act. This is reported by the Huffington Post.

Brigadier punished

The name of the Brigadier has been withheld from the media but the Times of India has reported that the Brigadier was awarded 10-year loss of seniority for pay and promotion. He was also " severely reprimanded" and for all practical purposes, his career in the Indian army is over. The Brigadier initially denied the allegations as did the wife of the Lt Colonel but the wife of the Brigadier who came to know of this extramarital affair wrote to the Army Chief, who set the ball rolling for disciplinary action.

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The officer is lucky, as combatants in the army have been invariably dismissed or sentenced to five years RI for similar offences. The fact that he pleaded guilty saved him but his extramarital affair ended his innings with the army. The Indian army, like the British army, has zero tolerance for officers who have extramarital affairs with other officers wifes and are invariably charged with "stealing the affections of a fellow officers wife" a euphemism for extramarital affairs.

Future

The senior officer who was commanding an important formation has also been removed from command. The case would have died but for the active follow up by the Brigadiers wife, who presented Whatsapp messages exchanged between the Brigadier and the Lt Col's wife.

The sentence of the GCM will now be reviewed by the C-in- C and the COAS( Army Chief). Many are not happy at the leniency shown to the officer and it's a moot point that the COAS may not confirm the sentence and ask the GCM to review the punishment.