The Supreme Court has upheld dismissal of a Flight Lieutenant of Indian Air Force in view of allegations of his sexual intercourse with a minor daughter of his colleague.
After the Court of Inquiry report on the allegations made by his colleague, it was held that it was not practicable to hold a General Court Martial particularly in view of the vulnerability of the minor victim.
Instead, the Chief of the Air Staff, considering the recommendations of the Court of Inquiry, was of the view that the officer may be compulsorily retired. The Central Government considered the recommendation of the Chief of Air Staff and considering all relevant material aspects concluded that the case warranted the dismissal of the officer from service. This was on 21 September 1993.
The litigation that started then, reached for final hearing before the Supreme Court bench comprising of Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Hemant Gupta. It was urged before the bench that the Central Government ought to have borne in mind the recommendations of the Chief of the Air Staff for compulsory retirement. The bench referred to Sub-Rule (7) and (8) of Rule 16 of Air Force Rules 1969, and observed:
"There is no manner of doubt that the Central Government had duly taken note of the recommendations of the Chief of Air Staff before deciding upon the eventual action which was taken against the petitioner. The recommendation made by the Chief of Air Staff is not binding and the Central Government was within its jurisdiction in taking the ultimate decision which it did in the facts and circumstances of the case. The action taken is not unlawful or arbitrary."
The bench then dismissed the Special Leave Petition finding no merit in it.