New Delhi (India), May 6 (India) Awarded "severe reprimand" and "loss of six months seniority" for meeting a woman source outside his area of responsibility, Major Leetul Gogoi is contemplating legal recourse against the punishment given to him.
Disciplinary proceedings were initiated against Major Gogoi by a military court which held him guilty for fraternizing with a woman source in a Srinagar hotel and leaving his unit post in an operational area without permission from his superiors in May last year in violation of rules
"The officer shall take recourse to the remedies as per the due process of law," sources close to Major Gogoi said when enquired if he would approach the court against the punishment.
As per the Army legal procedure, Major Gogoi can first file a statutory complaint against the punishment in the case and request the higher ups in the force to reconsider the action taken against him. If the statutory complaint does not take a decision in his favour or takes more than the stipulated time for taking a decision, the officer can then also approach the Armed Forces Tribunal.
Sources close to Gogoi also claimed that the officer has not been punished for having any kind of illicit relationship with the Kashmiri girl in the Srinagar hotel but only for meeting her.
Gogoi, who hit the headlines in April 2017 for using a civilian as a shield against stone-throwers, had been held guilty by a court of inquiry for meeting a local girl source in a hotel in violation of the rules under Army Act 63.
He was also facing the charge of not giving correct information to his JCO while leaving his company operating base near Srinagar when he was proceeding to meet the woman source.
After the matter came to light, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat had last year said that the officer had not committed as grave a mistake as was being made out by the media.
General Rawat had backed the officer when the jeep episode took place but had also talked about giving him exemplary punishment when the hotel episode came into the limelight.
On May 23 last year, the Kashmir police had detained Major Gogoi when he was found in a Srinagar hotel with an 18-year-old. After the altercation, the Army ordered a court of inquiry to probe the incident. (ANI)