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Molestation of NCC cadet
Lt-Col suffers loss of service
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 29
A general court martial (GCM) today held a lieutenant-colonel guilty of molesting an NCC cadet during a training camp held at Chandigarh last year. He has been awarded five years’ forfeiture of service for the purpose of determining his pension and a severe reprimand.

The officer, Lieut-Col S.S. Madra, posted at No.1 Chandigarh NCC Battalion, faced a single charge under Section 69 of the Army Act read with Section 354 of the Indian Penal Code for allegedly hugging the cadet and kissing her on the neck after taking her to an isolated spot.

The verdict of the GCM, presided over by Brig Arjun Menon, Commander 95 Infantry Brigade, is subject to confirmation by the convening authority. The trial had commenced at Chandimandir about two months ago.

The court relied on the deposition of the victim and observed that her statements and demeanor had inspired the court’s confidence. The accused officer had denied the charges against him and maintained that the girl had approached him for his assistance to get selected for the Republic Day Camp, which he refused.

He had also deposed as a defence witness. The court, however, had observed that the accused officer’s demeanour had not inspired its confidence. Further, the defence had also agreed that there was no previous animosity between the accused and the victim.

The cadet from the Government College for Girls, Sector 11, had alleged that she was molested by the officer during the camp organised on the premises of the Industrial Training Institute (ITI), Sector 28, here, on September 25, 2005, on the pretext of reviewing her drill and correcting her posture.

Based upon the complaint of the girl, the NCC authorities had ordered a court of inquiry (COI) to ascertain facts of the case. The COI, presided over by Col Balbir Singh from the Ambala NCC Group, held the officer blameworthy. He was thereafter attached with the Headquarters of an Infantry Brigade for recording summary of evidence.

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