New Delhi: The Armed Forces Tribunal has
asked the Army not to take action against a Colonel, who was tried by a General Court Martial (GCM) on alleged sexual
harassment charges by a lady officer.
Colonel Debasish Mitra was tried by the GCM on 12
charges after allegations of sexual harassment were levelled
against him by Lieutenant Iman, the lady officer, during their
deployment in counter-insurgency operations in the Kashmir
The GCM had acquitted him of 11 charges saying the witnesses had made false statements but was awarded "severe reprimand" for one charge which was to be confirmed by the Army Chief`s office.
Mitra contended that before he could be informed about
the confirmation of his sentence by the GCM, he was issued a
show cause notice by the Army for the same charges for which
he had already been tried by the GCM earlier.
Alleging that the Army was "bent upon" getting rid of
him, the officer argued that "charges were not sustainable in
the eye of law as the same had already been considered by the
GCM and as such the show cause notice should be quashed."
Agreeing with his contention, the Tribunal Bench
headed by Justice Sadhan Kumar Gupta and Lt Gen Madan Gopal
said, "the show cause notice issued on behalf of the Chief of
the Army Staff against Col Mitra is quashed and the Army is
restrained from taking any action against the petitioner on
the basis of such show case notice."
The officer is presently posted at the Kolkata-based
Eastern Command headquarters.