Army to continue to try its personnel for adultery

‘Moral turpitude has no place here’

The Army will continue to try personnel for adultery and homosexuality under the provisions of the Army Act for “unbecoming conduct,” despite the Supreme Court decriminalising both, according to outgoing Adjutant General (AG) of the Army Lt. Gen. Ashwani Kumar.

“SC judgment is law of the land and is abiding… We will not charge anyone on those provisions mentioned by the SC. There are enough provisions in the Army Act to deal with it,” Lt. Gen. Kumar said in an interaction with journalists. “We are in uniformed profession and moral turpitude and corruption have no place here,” he said.

The AG is the senior most administration officer, who looks after manpower planning, HR Policy issues, recruitment and discipline. Lt. Gen. Kumar superannuated on Thursday.

The Army has also sent recommendations to the Defence Ministry on tweaking the rules for award of disability pension and capping the exemption limit. Its proposal on disability pension has caused protests from the veteran community. “There are cases where there was impropriety by some senior officers in maintaining their medical records,” Lt. Gen. Kumar said. “They were given due punishment for the offence.”

Recently, a Major General-ranked officer from the Army Education Corps (AEC) was court-martialled for falsifying medical records to earn disability pension and several other senior officers were awarded censures. He said about 70-80 officers retire every month, of whom about 35% are in low medical category. “Out of the 35%, nearly 50-60% ultimately get disability pension.”

Lt. Gen. Kumar said army headquarters was tweaking its rules to bring more checks and balances into the system. Not everyone with disability should be exempted from income tax and there should be an upper limit on tax exemption for disability pension.

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