IAF Officer Accused of Raping A Fellow Air Force Officer, Air Force To Conduct Court Martial

Flight Lieutenant Amitesh Harmukh was arrested on September 25 for allegedly sexually assaulting a fellow officer. The accused had been booked under Section 376 (punishment for rape) of the Indian penal code.

Following his arrest, Amitesh sought to prevent a police investigation or a regular trial by a court within the case, and instead stated in his affidavit that the case need to be brought before a military court-martial — an internal investigation and trial system within the defense force. Citing section 72 of the Indian Air Force Act, 1950, the accused said that the police had “no authority to arrest [him].

Even if the civil police would have arrested him, the civil police haven’t any authority to provide him before the Judicial Magisterial Court, Coimbatore, for remand into judicial custody. Moreover, as per Indian Air Force Act, 1950, the Court Martial, instituted to try the above offence has jurisdiction.” The affidavit further adds that the police should have handed custody of Amitesh to the Air Force authorities.

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