Defence Minister A.K. Antony on Saturday warned of stringent action if anyone was found guilty in the case in which a Navy officer’s wife had raised sexual harassment charges against her husband and his seniors at the Southern Naval Command.

“I am in receipt of her complaint and have sought a report from the Navy on this. Right now, three parallel investigations, conducted by the Kerala Police [based on a complaint lodged by the woman], the Delhi Police, and the Navy, are in progress. Therefore, it will be improper on my part to comment on the issue. However, such complaints are given due weight and seriousness, and if the charges are proven true, strict action — as taken in another case recently — will be taken against the guilty,” Mr. Antony told presspersons after launching an online bill processing scheme for Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Services’ (ECHS) Regional Centre in Kochi.

Dismissal

In a separate case, Mr. Antony had on Friday ordered dismissal from service of a Lieutenant Commander after he was pronounced guilty of having an affair with his senior’s wife.

A serving Lieutenant’s wife had lodged a complaint with the Harbour Police in Kochi last week accusing 10 persons — including six serving naval officers and their family members — of wrongfully detaining her for dowry, besides attempting to sexually assault her.

While the Navy had maintained that the complaint resulted from marital discord and that the woman’s allegations against her husband’s superiors were ‘unfortunate’ and unfair,’ the woman pressed ahead with her charges and made sweeping allegations of ‘wife-swapping’ being rampant in the force.

Legal action

The Navy Wives Welfare Association, a body of Navy spouses involved in humanitarian and social activities, is learnt to be contemplating legal action against the woman for portraying them in a poor light and denigrating their moral integrity.

The couple in question had an uneasy marriage and the Lieutenant, a marine commando, had filed for divorce on March 28.