Coimbatore police file plea for custody of IAF man accused of rape

The IAF was yet to appoint a team for court martial proceedings even as they hurriedly sought the custody of their accused officer.

The Coimbatore city police filed a petition for the custody of an IAF personnel accused in a rape case. The petition, filed by inspector E Nirmala of the all-woman police station at the Principal District Court, comes a week after a Mahila Court in Coimbatore handed over 29-year-old flight lieutenant Amitesh Harmukh’s custody to the IAF.

The petition, filed Thursday, argues that handing over the accused to IAF for court martial may be considered only at a later stage as the case was currently being investigated by the all-woman police in Coimbatore where the survivor filed her complaint. It said the accused should be in judicial custody during investigation and until a chargesheet is filed.

The IAF was yet to appoint a team for court martial proceedings even as they hurriedly sought the custody of their accused officer. Explaining their demand to revoke the Mahila Court order, a senior police officer cited Section 124 of the Air Force Act, 1950, which says a case can be transferred to IAF for court martial only when it is ready for trial.

The survivor filed her complaint on September 20 and the accused was taken into custody on September 25 from the Coimbatore Air Force Administrative College where he was undergoing a training programme along with the 28-year-old survivor.

The survivor’s complaint also said she was subjected to the two-finger test, which is now banned, at an IAF hospital after she filed a complaint with her superiors. However, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal V R Chaudhary rejected her claims Tuesday.

The woman’s police complaint also alleged that she approached them after her superiors in IAF forced her to withdraw her complaint.

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