Sacked from army, woman to move SC

Denies allegation of ‘inappropriate behaviour’ levelled against her

Kathmandu, July 1

Bhakti Shah, who was sacked from the Nepal Army for inappropriate sexual behaviour, plans to move the Supreme Court against the Nepal Army’s special court verdict on Sunday.

The special court had upheld the Military Court’s earlier decision to dismiss her from the service.

Twenty-two-year-old Shah was a corporal of the Nepal Army at Kharipati Training Centre in Bhaktapur and was taken into custody in July 2007 by the Military Police.

She was dismissed from the service on the charge of “inappropriate behaviour” and for raising donations from trainees.

In response to her appeal, the army special court on Sunday cleared her of donation collection charge and declared her detention illegal but ruled that she was not fit

for army service.

She had been kept in detention for six months.

Shah, who joined the Nepal Army four years ago, admits that she is a lesbian but denies all allegations levelled against her.

“I was prosecuted just because a cadet was found lying on my bed beside me,” she said.

“I was detained for 60 days without any warrant inside the training centre,” she added.

“I am going to move the Supreme Court, seeking its intervention to reinstate my army job and to seek compensation for the illegal detention,” she added.

Sunil Babu Pant, president of the Blue Diamond Society, a nongovernment organisation working for the welfare of sexual minorities, said that the action of the Nepal Army against Bhakti, just because she looked masculine, was biased. “It’s high time that army’s justice system was made independent, transparent and democratic,” Pant added.

Spokesperson for the Nepal Army Brigadier General Ramindra Chhetri, however, said Shah was dismissed from the service for violating the army’s code of conduct.

The Military Act does not recognise homosexuality and deems it illegal.