Flight Lieutenant Amitesh Harmukh was arrested on September 25 for allegedly sexually assaulting a fellow officer. The accused had been booked under Section 376 (punishment for rape) of the Indian Penal Code. Following his arrest, Amitesh sought to prevent a police investigation or a regular trial by a criminal court in the case, and instead stated in his affidavit that the case ought to be brought before a military court-martial — an internal investigation and trial system in the armed forces. Citing section 72 of the Indian Air Force Act, 1950, the accused said that the police had “no authority to arrest [him].
Even if the civil police would have arrested him, the civil police have no authority to produce him before the Judicial Magisterial Court, Coimbatore, for remand into judicial custody. Moreover, as per Indian Air Force Act, 1950, the Court Martial, instituted to try the above offence has jurisdiction.” The affidavit further adds that the police should have handed custody of Amitesh to the Air Force authorities.