Woman navy officer 'charged' for being harassed, quits with disappointment

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New Delhi, Aug 2: In another incident of workplace harassment in Navy, a woman officer stationed in Vizag was mentally, physically and verbally tortured. Moreover, she did not get the justice that she had expected. Undergoing training as a Naval architect, she had to cut short her career on July 31 when she did not get justice. Ironically, she was asked to 'compensate' for the training cost that was incurred on her.

Eventually, she was joined in her complaint by another naval officer and a civilian woman who had complains against the same person-Commander Anand Bhuptani. The Navy's reaction to this was shoddy and disappointing. Of the five charges against him, the One-man Inquiry and the Board of Inquiry, apart from a general Court Martial could 'prove' only one and he was punished with "18 months forfeiture of seniority and other consequential penalties" under Section 54(2) (Cruelty and Conduct unbecoming the character of an officer) of the Navy Act 1957.

Sources close to the complainant said,"the impact of these incidents was so deep that in February the complainant had even attempted to commit suicide while in a naval school in Delhi. Over the last few months, she had hopes from the navy as the GCM progressed, but her charges were not proven." The source also said,"the complainant had decided to quit the force after making her point earlier this year. However, after being persuaded by the navy that the case was getting weakened by her absence, she stayed on. She was subsequently even provided with a female prosecutor by the navy."

The incident is said to have occurred between December 2012 and June 2013, according to a report by indiatoday.in.

The navy, however, said that a proposal has however been forwarded to MoD for the waiver of the training charges. On approval, the amount will be refunded.

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