New Delhi: The Armed Forces Tribunal today
gave a major relief to a Lieutenant Colonel found guilty by a
Court Martial of outraging the modesty of two women, by
setting aside his dismissal and ordering him to pay a fine of
Rs 50,000 as punishment.
Lt Col S S Bedi, an army doctor, was cashiered from
service in 1986 after the wives of two military personnel
complained that the officer had tried to outrage their modesty
during a medical check-up.
After the complaint was filed, authorities ordered a
Court of Inquiry (CoI) against him and later, a General Court
Martial (GCM) ordered his dismissal from service.
Bedi had filed a petition in the Delhi High Court
challenging his conviction by the Court Martial contending the
charges against him were false.
Observing that the two women had made the allegations
long after the alleged incident, the Bench said, "Their
silence mitigated the seriousness of the allegations. No
cogent and convincing reason has been stated for their
The Tribunal said in the given circumstances, the
punishment of cashiering from service was "not only excessive
and disproportionate, but is also one which was not to be
Allowing the petition partly, Justice Kulshreshtha said,
"We direct to convert the cashiering from service into fine of
Rs 50,000 for the offence. The appellant is directed to
deposit the fine before the GCM within four weeks and in
default, to undergo rigorous imprisonment for ten days".
The Tribunal said Bedi shall be deemed to be discharged
from the date of his cashiering and shall be entitled to
pensioner and other retirement benefits.