A general court-martial was reconvened in a forward area under 33 Corps to try a brigadier for an act prejudicial to good order and discipline. The brigadier commanding a brigade facing China was accused of having an extramarital love affair with a Lt Col's wife. The Court Martial earlier in October had awarded loss of 10 years seniority and severe reprimand to the officer.

The proceedings were forwarded to Army Hq for confirmation as per the Army Act 1950. Army HQs after examining the case as the competent approving authority asked the Court-martial to re-assemble and enhance the sentence.

The GCM presided over by a Major General with six brigadiers as members have now imposed a stiffer sentence. The Brigadier is to be cashiered and also serve three years prison term for violating the Army act by "stealing" the affections of a fellow officers wife - as is reported by Times of India.

The sentence

The shock sentence shows the army will not tolerate any act that undermines morale and is a deterrent to good order and discipline. The brigadier whose name has been withheld had initially denied the charges till his wife who is a Principal of a Public School in Delhi handed over to the authorities copies of WhatsApp messages exchanged between the Brigadier and the Lt Col's wife.

The army cannot countenance such " love affairs" as many families are left alone, while their husbands serve on the front.

Such an act by an Officer Commanding a sensitive regiment facing China cannot be condoned.This was the reason the confirming authority had sent the award of the GCM back for reconsideration. The GCM was re-convened as per the Army Act 1950 and this time it awarded a stiff sentence. Many feel the offence was not so serious as to merit the award of cashiering.

An officer cashiered is deprived of all monetary benefits and pension or any other retirement benefits.

Moral turpitude

The offence of moral turpitude like having extramarital affairs is frowned upon by all professional forces. In the USA, General Haight a two-star general was disciplined and forced to retire with a reduction in rank, for carrying on a clandestine love affair with a reporter.

In the Indian Navy, two officers have been dismissed for having extramarital affairs. The Hindustan Times has commented that such stiff sentences are required in a fighting force where wives live alone in separate family quarters when their husbands serve in operational areas.