Thursday, November 17, 2016

New AFT judicial members cleared

Under pressure from the Supreme Court of India, the government has cleared new judicial members for appointment to the Armed Forces Tribunal. According to the AFT bar, the tribunal's work has come to a halt because of unfilled judicial vacancies. Details here. Excerpt:
The [bar association's] letter to the Chief Justice stated that there is a total breakdown of the system of administration of justice for defence personnel and their families, not only because of not having enough judicial members but also because of arbitrary provisions of the AFT Act, 2007.

The bar in its letter alleged that the Centre has been claiming that there are not enough applicants for the posts but appointments already approved by the selection committee have not been notified.

The letter has raised some long-standing disputes as well. This includes the demand for taking AFT out of the Union ministry of defence (MoD) given that most cases are against the ministry, no judicial review for AFT orders making it the first and last court for litigants and the tribunal not having the power to enforce its orders.
Allowing so many vacancies to arise on the AFT suggests that the government does not consider the review of military cases a priority. 

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