Friday, Jan 18, 2019 | Last Update : 07:03 AM IST
Rawat said though his force is not above the law, it will not be possible to allow gay sex and adultery in the Army.
New Delhi: Even after the Supreme Court of India decriminalised homosexuality and struck down a colonial-era adultery law, Army Chief Gen. Bipin Rawat on Thursday said that gay sex and adultery will not be allowed in the Indian Army.
“In the Army, it is not acceptable,” Mr Rawat said while replying to a question on impact of the Apex Court’s two historic verdicts. Gen. Rawat said though his force is not above the law, it will not be possible to allow gay sex and adultery in the Army.
“The Army is conservative. The Army is a family. We cannot allow this to perpetrate into the Army,” the Army chief said on adultery, adding soldiers and officers deployed along the borders cannot be allowed to be worried about their family. The conduct of the Army personnel is governed by the Army Act.
A five-judge constitution bench of the Supreme Court last September unanimously decriminalised part of the 158-year-old colonial law under Section 377 of the IPC which criminalises consensual unnatural sex, saying it violated the rights to equality. The apex court last year had also struck down a 158-year-old colonial-era law which it said treated women as “chattel of husbands”.
“In the Army we never thought this can happen. Anything that was thought of was put in the Army Act. 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,” he said.
“I think anything what is being said or talked about will not be allowed to happen in the Indian Army,” he added. At the same time Gen. Rawat said the Army is not above the law and that the SC is the highest judicial body of the country. The Army has been grappling with cases of adultery and the accused often face general court-martial. In Army parlance, adultery is defined as “stealing the affection of a brother officer’s wife”.
“We are not above the country’s law, but when you join the Indian Army, some of the rights and privileges you enjoy are not what we have,” the Army Chief said.