Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Military justice in India's paramilitary forces

Nishant Gokhale
In January, The Hindu ran a smart op-ed by Nishant Gokhale of the Centre on the Death Penalty at the National Law University, Delhi. His argument is that India's seven paramilitary forces, such as the Border Security Force, need an major upgrade of their disciplinary systems. Excerpt:
Despite court martial systems within the military being reformed and judicial scrutiny now being available, paramilitary forces continue to follow a court martial-like system called the Security Force Court with less legal safeguards than those found inadequate by the Supreme Court. Yet, like in court martial proceedings, penalties including the death sentence can be imposed. With no process of appeal other than statutory petitions, often before the Home Minister, the only recourse left is expensive and time-consuming writ petitions. Even here, the fundamental rights of armed forces personnel are expressly limited under Article 33 of the Constitution which makes approaching civilian judicial systems a challenge.
Highly recommended reading. 

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