In connection with the alleged rape of woman IAF officer by her colleague in September, the Coimbatore All Women police filed a revision petition before the Principal District Judge (PDJ) court on Thursday, October 7, against transferring the case to IAF. The Coimbatore police have also sought seven daysâ€™ custody of flight lieutenant Amitesh Harmukh. The revision petition comes after the Coimbatore mahila court had ordered the district police to transfer the case to IAF for a court martial on September 30.
A police officer told The New Indian Express that it had moved a higher court as it was of the view that the police should complete the investigation before the case goes to trial. Quoting a senior police officer, Times of India reported that only the police can investigate the rape case and the IAF was yet to appoint an officer to conduct the court martial. Objecting to the Coimbatore mahila courtâ€™s order, the officer added that it can be transferred to the IAF for court martial only when the case goes to trial.
A few days ago, the Indian Air Force responded to allegations by the survivor officer and denied that she was forced to undergo the banned two-finger test and said that disciplinary action will be taken against the guilty. At a press conference, the Air Chief said the rules of the IAF in such incidents are "very strict" and punitive action will be taken based on the report of a high-level inquiry into the case.
"Let me assure you that the Air Force law is very strict on any such incidents. The two-finger test that you have mentioned is misreported. I can confirm to you that this test was not done and we are well aware of the rules," Air Chief Marshal Chaudhary had told the media.
He was replying to a question on allegations by the officer that she was subjected to the outlawed test at a medical facility of the Indian Air Force. A flight lieutenant was arrested by the Tamil Nadu Police for allegedly sexually assaulting the 28-year-old woman officer on September 10 in an Air Force academy.
The woman officer had levelled serious charges against IAF authorities, including subjecting her to the banned two-finger test and also forcing her to withdraw the complaint against the flight lieutenant.
A local court in Coimbatore last week directed the police to hand over the case to the IAF, though the woman officer had asked for a police investigation, alleging pressure and intimidation from her superiors.