Over a year after the Supreme Court decriminalized adultery and gay-sex in two separate verdicts, the Indian army feels that both the decisions should be undone as gay-sex and adultery can be detrimental to the disciplinary system in the armed force.
According to the NDTV report, sources told news agency Press Trust Of India that the army has also taken this matter to the Ministry of Defence saying that adultery and gay officers within the force are going “unnoticed and unpunished”. The army stands against these acts as they believe that there is a need to make these acts punishable or else they will act as a deterrent against the morality to be maintained by the army personnel.
Adjutant General of Indian Army, Ashwani Kumar, who looks after the welfare of the ranks and handles grievances, told media personnel on October 30, Wednesday, that some cases may be “legally right, but ethically wrong”.
Upon asking, whether the Army wants to get the judgements reviewed by the Supreme Court, he replied, “How do you know that we haven’t already done so?”
In the latter part of the conference, he ensured that the army will abide by the judgement even when they are not really in favour of the verdict and they will try to use other provisions to make gay-sex and adultery punishable offences in the armed forces.
The army intends to do this through Section 45 of the Army Act, a special act established by the Parliament to deal with “unbecoming conduct” of officers and army troops.
If the army goes successful in adding the recommendations in the act, a gay officer will be tried under ‘Section 45’ for behaving in a manner unbecoming of his position and character. Currently, an officer who is deemed as gay in the army is tried under Section-46 of the Army Act which penalises the officer for his disgraceful conduct of a cruel, indecent or unnatural kind.
However, it is not the first time, the army has passed discriminatory remarks on the LGBTQ community earlier as well.
In January 2019, Army Chief Bipin Rawat stirred controversy when he said gay sex and adultery would both not be allowed in the Army.
“It was something which was unheard of when the Army Act was made. We never thought this is going to happen. We never allow it. Therefore it was not put in the Army Act,” General Rawat had said, PTI reported.
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