Navy officer sacked for sexual misconduct in Moscow

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New Delhi, Feb 5 (PTI) A senior Navy officer has beensacked for having sexual relations with a Russian woman inMoscow as head of the Indian team overseeing the refit ofaircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov there.

Commodore Sukhjinder Singh was posted in Moscowbetween 2005 to 2007 as the Indian warship productionsuperintendent to oversee Gorshkov''s refit when he developedthe illicit relationship with the woman.

"He (Singh) will be discharged. He will not be inservice now," Defence Minister A K Antony told reporters todaywhen asked about the progress in the case.

Singh, who has at least two years of service left,will have to immediately pack his bags.

Singh''s affair was exposed in April 2010, three yearsafter his posting in Russia when his explicit pictures withthe woman were brought to the notice of the Defence Ministry.

Soon after receiving the pictures, the Navy hadordered a Court Of Inquiry against him to establish hisrelations with the woman and whether the relationship hadaffected the Admiral Gorshkov deal in any way.

The CoI had established Singh''s relations with thewoman but maintained that his "loose moral conduct" had not"adversely impacted" India''s position during the long-drawnwrangling with Russia over the 44,570-tonne carrier''s refit.

After completing its inquiry, the Navy had sent thefile to the Defence Ministry for further action.

Even after returning from Russia, Singh had continuedto be associated with the Gorshkov programme as the principaldirector (aircraft carrier project) in New Delhi tillmid-2009.

He was later relieved of his posting in the defenceministry''s directorate-general of quality assurance.

After repeated Russian demands for higher prices forretrofitting the aircraft carrier, the two sides last yearfinally settled on USD 2.33 billion as the cost of thewarship.

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