Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Thursday, said that the 'conservative' Army will forbid adultery and homosexuality to 'perpetuate into the Army'
The remarks came during the annual press brief by the Army chief, while speaking over the LGBTQIA community, he claimed that people affiliating with the community would be dealt under the Army Act.
He said, "In the Army, these are not acceptable. We will still be dealing with them under various sections of the Army Act."
Under the Section 46 of the Army Act, the person charged is culpable of disgraceful conduct of a "cruel, indecent or unnatural kind”, and the offence falls under the Section 377 of the IPC.
Last year, the Supreme Court abolished the 158-year old colonial law, by decriminalising adultery and homosexuality. The triumph of the LGBTQIA community failed to resonate with the military services, who continue to ban homosexuality, treating it as a punishable offence under their own governed Acts.
When questioned upon the Supreme Court verdict Gen Rawat said, "We are not above the country’s law, but in the Indian Army when you join it, some of my rights and privileges that are authorised to you by the constitution are not authorised to me...There are some issues where we are different...we are not above the Supreme Court.
"Gentlemen, the army is conservative..we have not modernised, neither westernised. We can still take action against people but we will not allow this to perpetrate in the army. This cannot be allowed to happen. It is a very serious matter,” the Army General said.
Further elucidating his stand he added, "A lot of soldiers who are serving on the border, leave their families behind...There is someone deputed from the local station to look after these families. That officer or jawan who is sitting at the border cannot be worried about whether his family is cared for... He has to be reasonably assured that his family is cared for and they will face no problem."
In the corners of the world, homosexuals in security forces are labelled as a 'Don't Ask, Don't Care' policy, permitting homosexuals to serve the military as long as they're closeted. However now, military services of over 30 countries, including United Kingdom, Canada, Israel, Germany, Sweden, Netherlands, Australia, Brazil, South Africa have permitted homosexuals to serve in their security services, and largely is treated as a norm in the Western world.
Russia has a blurred stand over the issue that accommodates 'well-adjusted homosexuals'. But 80 countries around the world, such as conservative Muslim countries, chunks of Africa, Latin America and Asia including India does not permit homosexuals.