Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT)

  • IASbaba
  • November 22, 2022
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In News: The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved appointments to fill 23 vacancies, including 11 as judicial members and 12 as administrative members, in the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT).

  • The move will help fill up vacant positions many of whom have been unable to function because of shortfall of members resulting in huge backlog of cases.

About Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT):

  • AFT is a military tribunal in India, established under the Armed Forces Tribunal Act, 2007.
  • Powers: adjudication or trial by Armed Forces Tribunal of 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.
  • Functions: Any appeal arising from court-martial orders, findings, or sentences is reviewed by the Armed Forces Tribunal Act
  • The Principal Bench is located at New Delhi. There are ten other benches across the country.
  • Judicial Members are retired High Court Judges and Administrative Members are retired Members of the Armed Forces who have held rank of Major General/ equivalent or above for a period of three years or more, Judge Advocate General (JAG), who have held the appointment for at least one year are also entitled to be appointed as the Administrative Member.
  • The Tribunal shall transact their proceedings as per the Armed Forces Tribunal (Procedure) rules, 2008.
  • All proceedings in the Tribunal will be in English. The Tribunal will normally follow the procedure as is practiced in the High Courts of India.

About the procedure:

  • In a break from tradition, a retired officer from the Indian Defence Accounts Service (IDAS) has been appointed as an administrative member of the AFT.
  • Prior to this, only retired Army, Navy and Air Force officers were appointed as administrative members of the AFT.
  • The AFT benches can only be operational if judicial as well as administrative members are available to sit on them.
  • While the judicial members are drawn from the retired judges of the high courts across the country, the administrative members are selected from retired defence services officers.
  • In both categories applications are invited from interested individuals before being shortlisted and selected.

Source Indian Express

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