A woman trainee officer cadet in Kerala has approached the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) seeking reinstatement at the Indian Naval Academy after being charged with physical intimacy with a fellow cadet. Citing discrimination since the male cadet has been handed a lighter punishment, the woman cadet has asked her punishment to be revoked, reports the Indian Express.
According to the report by Indian Express, the woman trainee officer cadet said, in the past there have been instances where a lesser punishment was awarded for a similar offence. The AFT proceedings noted that a show-cause notice was issued to the woman cadet in May 2020 on why she should not be withdrawn from training and discharged from naval service.
The woman cadet was undergoing training at the naval academy in 2019-20 and was relegated during the third term on disciplinary grounds for indulging in physical intimacy with another trainee.
While seeking reinstatement in the Indian Naval Academy with a lesser punishment for the kissing offence, the woman cadet’s counsel said the order was harsh and discriminatory. The woman cadet’s counsel contended that the male cadet, who came to the applicant’s cabin in the early hours of March 29, 2020, and kissed the applicant, was only given minor punishment, while the woman cadet was relegated (withdrawn).
The counsel also said she should be allowed to graduate, because she has qualified with outstanding academic performance. During the proceedings, the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) said that the government counsel has referred to the fact that the woman cadet had been repeatedly found guilty of disciplinary offences, for which she had been relegated twice.
Meanwhile, the woman cadet has now put in a fresh application on November 6 before the AFT. In the new application the woman states that if she is not permitted to participate in the training scheduled in November 2020, she may surpass the required are for training, which will be held in April 2021. Responding to this, the ATF said since the applicant has already been granted interim protection, the question of overage will not come in her way in case she is found eligible for training.