Navy court martials officer facing sexual harassment charges

Navy court martials officer facing sexual harassment charges

The Navy has court martialled an officer facing charges of sexual harassment by a junior lady officer and reduced his seniority by 18 months.

The officer of the rank of Commander (equivalent to Lieutenant Colonel) was posted in Navy's Shipwright school in Vishakhapatnam and the lady officer of the rank of Sub Lieutenant (equivalent to Captain in Army) levelled five allegations against him in the court martial, Navy sources said.

The allegations included physical, verbal and sexual harassment but the court martial held the officer guilty only for one out of the five charges and ordered his seniority to be reduced by 18 months, they said.

The court martial headed by a Commodore (equivalent to aBrigadier) was held last month and found the officer guilty ofthe charge of "conduct unbecoming the character of an officer".

Navy officials said the lady, who has now quit the force,was provided a lady prosecutor to help her out in the court martial.

During the case, two other ladies including another lady officer and a civilian date entry operator had joined in levelling charges against the officer. The lady, who was a Short Service Commission officer, quit the force after completing only three years of the mandatory seven years of service.

The Navy has now asked her to pay the amount invested in her by the government as she was sent to do various courses including the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) for completing her studies for becoming an architect.

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