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Armed Forces Tribunal

Topics Covered: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

Armed Forces Tribunal:


Context:

The Delhi-based principal bench of the Armed Forces Tribunal has initiated hearing of matters pertaining to regional benches through video conferencing.

About AFT:

It is a military tribunal in India.

It was established in 2009 under the Armed Forces Tribunal Act, 2007.

  • The act was passed on the basis of recommendation of 169th Law Commission Report and various Supreme Court directives.

 Powers and functions:

To adjudicate Disputes and complaints with respect to commission, appointments, enrolments and conditions of service in respect of persons subject to the Army Act, 1950, The Navy Act, 1957 and the Air Force Act, 1950.

Composition:

Each Bench comprises of a Judicial Member and an Administrative Member.

  • Judicial Members are retired High Court Judges.
  • Administrative Members are retired Members of the Armed Forces who have held the rank of Major General/ equivalent or above for a period of three years or more or Judge Advocate General (JAG), who have held the appointment for at least one year.

Who can be a chairperson?

The person holding the office of chairperson of AFT must have been either a retired judge of Supreme Court or a Retired chief justice of high court.

Exceptions:

  • Paramilitary forces including the Assam Rifles and Coast Guard are outside the tribunal’s purview.
  • AFT is considered to be a criminal court with respect to Indian Penal Code, and Code of Criminal Procedure.
  • Appeals against the decision of the AFT can be taken only in Supreme Court. High Courts are not allowed to entertain such appeals.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Composition of AFT.
  2. Powers of AFT wrt Paramilitary forces.
  3. Chairperson of AFT- eligibility and appointment.
  4. Jurisdiction of AFT.

Mains Link:

Discuss the powers and functions of Armed Forces Tribunals.

Sources: pib.