GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
Ministry of Defence
Department of Defence
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO: 634
TO BE ANSWERED ON 25.11.2009
Armed Forces Tribunal
634. Shri Rajeev Chandrasekhar:
Will the Minister of Defence be pleased to state:
(a) whether the Supreme Court observed 27 years ago the lacunae in justice delivery system for the service personnel ridden with archaic provisions owing to the colonial legacy;
(b) whether the much delayed Armed Forces Tribunal has now been put in place for speedier and transparent dispensation of justice for the service personnel; and
(c) how many courts will be set up under the AFT and the locations thereof including the strength of both judicial and administrative members functioning under the Tribunals?
Minister of Defence
(SHRI A. K Antony)
(a) to (c): A statement is attached.
STATEMENT IN RESPECT OF PARTS (a) TO (c) OF RAJYA SABHA UNSTARRED QUESTION NO. 634 FOR 25.11.2009 REGARDING ARMED FORCES TRIBUNAL
The Supreme Court has held in 1982, that the absence of even one appeal with power to review evidence, legal formulation, conclusion and adequacy or other wise of punishment in the laws relating to the armed forces was a distressing and glaring lacuna and urged the Government to take steps to provide for at least one judicial review in service matters.
The Amred Forces Tribunal has been set up for the adjudication or trial of disputes and complaints with respect to the service matters and also to provide for appeals arising out of verdicts of the Courts Martial in respect or personnel of the Armed Forces.
The Amred Forces Tribunal has a sanctioned strength of a Chairperson, fourteen Judicial Members and fifteen Administrative Members. At present, Chairperson, nine Judicial Members and fifteen Administrative Members are in position. Principal Bench of AFT is located at Delhi. It has three courts. It has been decided to establish Regional Benches at Chandigarh, Lucknow, Jaipur, Mumbai, Kolkata, Guwahati, Chennai and Kochi while the Regional Benches at Lucknow and Chandigarh will have three courts each, all other Regional Benches will have one court each.