Indian Air Force (IAF) has dismissed one of its pilots on the charges of assaulting a senior officer and stealing a television remote from the mess, Mail Today reported on Tuesday. Along with the dismissal, the pilot has also been awarded two years in jail after being convicted by a general court-martial (GCM). The flight lieutenant has now challenged the sentence of the GCM in a military court in Delhi, an Indian Express Online report said. The pilot has been granted bail by the Delhi court after having signed a personal bond of Rs 25,000. “We suspend the sentence of the applicant and enlarge him on bail on furnishing personal bond for a sum of Rs 25,000,” Mail Today quoted Justice VK Shali, head of armed forces tribunal bench, as saying. The IAF officer, in his plea before the tribunal, requested for bail and suspension of his sentence arguing that he has already completed more than nine months in custody during trial.
Now, the military court has directed the official to surrender his passport to the tribunal and not to visit any air force base or residential complex while he stays in Delhi or out of the station. “Around 20 charges were levelled against the officer in the GCM where he was found guilty on some of the charges. He was awarded seven years rigorous imprisonment but that has been reduced to two years by the service,” an Indian Air Force officer said was quoted as saying by Indian Express Online. The report said that the dismissed transport pilot flew Antonov-32 cargo plane till 2013. However, he was confined to the ground service after a knee injury which he suffered during a sports event in the same year. The officer has been a shooting champion and even bagged a gold medal for the IAF in a national shooting championship.
The official had earlier accused his seniors of harassment. The official was declared permanently unfit to fly a transport aircraft on April 21, 2016, after his failure to recover.