Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Do new rules "make a mockery" of the Armed Forces Tribunal?

Major General (R) Harsha Kakar, writing for The Statesman, has offered this strongly critical review of new rules affecting India's Armed Forces Tribunal. Excerpt:
The new rules have reduced tenure of members from five to three years. It appears, when linked up with the other amendments, aimed at opening doors for ex-secretaries of the government, who retire at 62, to be nominated to the AFT, for which they would otherwise have been barred.

These amendments, which would alter the functioning of the AFT and make it useless for the task for which it was created, angered many veterans who practice in AFTs and they approached the Supreme Court. The court’s final determination is likely in July.

The bureaucracy, worried about a possible court rebuff, advertised for vacant posts based on its amended rules. It is now seeking the court’s permission to go ahead with the selection. If it succeeds, the AFTs would become just another example of the government’s apathy to serving and veteran military personnel.

A fallout of the case has been that unless court orders are finally issued, no fresh appointments can be made. Hence most AFTs are either non-functional or those with multiple benches have just one functional bench. This has impacted clearance of cases.

The sole reason for creating the AFT is now being lost. The government which has denied the forces various facilities is now seeking to make the AFTs redundant. It will require a concerted effort by all who support the military to pressurise the government against making a mockery of an institution created to speed up justice.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are subject to moderation and must be submitted under your real name. Anonymous comments will not be posted (even though the form seems to permit them).