The Navy’s board of inquiry into the sexual harassment allegations levelled by a serving marine commando’s wife against her husband and four other Navy officers including a Commodore is learnt to have briefed the Naval Headquarters on non-cooperation on the part of the complainant with the fact-finding mission. The board is likely to close its proceedings soon.
The inquiry team, headed by a Commodore and comprising four members including two women officers, was in Delhi on June 10 to hear both sides, but the complainant backed off from deposing before the board at the eleventh hour.
The inquiry board had summoned both sides to offer their accounts in Kochi itself in May when the complainant informed she was in Delhi and was preparing for the civil services examination. She was agreeable to meeting the board in Delhi, but on the eve of the hearing, she informed senior officials of her unavailability, said Navy sources.
“As she failed to turn up, the board moved a magistrate court which served a notice on her at her Vasant Vihar address, but she refused to accept it. Now that all the accused have been heard, the only option before the board is to close the inquiry with permission from the headquarters,” said an official.
Meanwhile, the Navy officials and a naval spouse accused in the case have taken steps to move the High Court of Kerala seeking quashing of criminal proceedings against them.
Top sources in the Navy told The Hindu that from the very beginning, there have been ‘phenomenal inconsistencies’ in the accounts given by the complainant. The complaints she filed with the police in Kochi and Delhi gave glaringly different versions of the alleged harassment. They charged her with offering contravening accounts of herself in media interviews.