Coimbatore Rape Case: Police Seek Accused IAF Officer's Custody, Challenge Order

On Thursday, the police filed a revision petition to revoke the mahila court order and sought custody of accused.

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Coimbatore police have filed a revision petition in the Coimbatore district court, seeking to reverse the mahila court order that required the court to hand the accused in the sexual assault case of a woman officer over to the Indian Air Force (IAF) for court martial.

On Thursday, 7 October, Inspector E Nirmala, who represents the local all-women police station, filed a revision petition to principal district judge R Sakthivel, seeking to revoke the mahila court order and sought custody of the accused Flight Lieutenant Amitesh Harmukh, reported Times of India.


'Accused Has To Be in Judicial Custody Until Charge Sheet Is Filed'

Coimbatore police said that they are yet to complete their investigation in the rape case. They added that the accused should remain in judicial custody until charge sheet is filed. Only after that can the court take a call on handing the accused over to the IAF, the police said.

A senior police officer told Times of India that only Coimbatore city police or other investigating agency has the right to investigate the case.

"Armed forces cannot investigate the case and the IAF did not appoint any official to conduct the court martial. As per Section 124 of the Air Force Act, 1950 (choice between criminal court and court martial), only when the case is ready for trial can it be handed to IAF for court martial. As of now city police have not completed the investigation. So the mahila court's order should be revoked and the flight lieutenant should be restored to judicial custody."
Senior police officer said as quoted by Times of India

The Coimbatore police arrested Amitesh Harmukh on 25 September after his colleague accused him of raping her. On 30 September, the additional mahila court judge Thilageswari gave her approval to the IAF's plea that sought for Amitesh's custody in order to conduct court martial.

(With inputs from Times of India.)

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