New Delhi: The Supreme Court has upheld the dismissal of an Indian Air Force personnel alleged of attempting to have sex with a minor boy, considering the offence as serious enough not to be ignored.

"The appellant belongs to Air Force, which is a disciplined service. The allegations made against the appellant were serious. The charge number (2) against him stood proved. The said charge is also serious and we are of the opinion that for an offence of the aforesaid nature, the authority was justified in awarding him the punishment of dismissal from service," the apex court said in a judgment.

A bench of Justices Mukundakam Sharma and AR Dave pronounced the judgment while dismissing the appeal filed by Ram Narayan Tiwari serving as a Corporal with IAF in Uttar Pradesh.

Tiwari, while serving in IAF's police Wing, was served with a charge sheet dated March 20, 1980, containing three charges: committing carnal intercourse against the order of nature with Sanjay Kumar minor on March 15, 1980, consumed ‘Ganja’ while on duty on the same date and leaving his place of duty for half an hour when the room remained unattended.

Though the second and third charge was dropped in the amended chargesheet by the authorities, they added another charge of carnal sex with the boy aged about nine.

The district court upheld the charge against Tiwari for the offence alleged against the minor boy, awarding him three months detention.

The confirming authority on an appeal while upholding the conviction altered the punishment to dismissal from service.

Citing the Air Force rules, aggrieved Tewari claimed that the confirming authority cannot enhance the punishment by way of dismissal. The Allahabad High Court had rejected his plea, following which he appealed in the apex court.

The apex court rejected the appeal and said the confirming authority had rightly awarded dismissal of service to Tiwari.

Interpreting Section 157 of the Air Force Act, the apex court said the confirming authority could mitigate, remit or commute the sentence but could not enhance the punishment.

(Agencies)