Rape case: Coimbatore police move court to regain custody of IAF officer Amitesh Harmukh | Coimbatore News – Times of India

COIMBATORE: A week after the September 30 order of a mahila court that handed over the rape case and custody of the accused, flight lieutenant Amitesh Harmukh, 29, to the Indian Air Force, the Coimbatore city police on Thursday filed a revision petition to regain his custody.
Amitesh Harmukh was arrested by the Coimbatore police on September 25 after a colleague accused him of raping her. On September 30, the additional mahila court judge (in-charge) Thilageswari acceded to the IAF plea for custody of Harmukh so that he could face court martial proceedings. The FIR filed by the Coimbatore police quoted the woman officer as saying she was subjected to the two-finger test by IAF authorities. This has been denied by the IAF chief. On Thursday, inspector E Nirmala, representing the local all-woman police station, filed a revision petition before the principal district judge R Sakthivel to revoke the mahila court’s order of handing over custody to the IAF.
Noting that the rape case is under investigation by the all-woman police and that the accused should be in judicial custody until the chargesheet is filed, the Coimbatore police said the court could decide on handing over the case to the IAF to conduct a court martial only after that.
“Only Coimbatore city police or other investigation agency can investigate the rape 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 transferred to IAF for court martial. As of now, the 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,” said a senior police officer.
The petition is likely to come up for hearing after the puja holidays.
Amitesh Harmukh from Durg in Chhattisgarh was arrested on charges of raping a woman colleague at the Air Force Administrative College (AFAC) near Red Fields in Coimbatore city on September 10. He was remanded in judicial custody and was lodged at the Udumalpet sub-jail on early September 26 morning.
(The victim’s identity has not been revealed to protect her privacy as per Supreme Court directives on cases related to sexual assault)


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