The custody of a lieutenant in the Indian Air Force (IAF), charged with raping a woman officer, has been extended till September 30 by the Coimbatore Mahila Court on Monday, September 27. The flight lieutenant Amitesh, belonging to Chattisgarh, was arrested by the city police on Sunday based on a complaint from the officer that she was raped while sleeping, after taking pills for an injury. When Amitesh was produced before the court, the IAF filed a petition seeking to hand him over to it for a court martial arguing that the city police cannot investigate and arrest him under civilian law.
But, the police said they would continue their investigation since the IAF did not act on the complaint from the woman even after 15 days. Amitesh and the woman were part of training in the IAF Administrative College in Redfields of Coimbatore. The Coimbatore police booked Amitesh under Section 376 (punishment for rape) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Although the issue of jurisdiction was presented to the police from the IAF end, Amitesh was sent to judicial custody and was kept at Udumalaipet jail.
The 29-year-old woman officer sustained an injury on September 10. The officer who resides in the college campus had taken medication for the injury and gone to sleep. The officer alleged that she was sexually assaulted by the male lieutenant during this time. The incident took place about 15 days ago, she said, adding that she approached the police after the IAF authorities did not take action on her complaint.
She was directed to file a police complaint at All Women Police Station in Gandhipuram by the Coimbatore Police Commissioner’s office. Amitesh was arrested from a judge’s home on Sunday. Subsequently his lawyer had insisted that the trial be held at a defence court and contended that the city police cannot investigate Air Force personnel.
(With PTI inputs)