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Supreme Court reminds Armed Forces Tribunal to remain within jurisdiction

The AFT order was challenged by the Union of India in the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad HC which set aside the AFT’s directions on grounds of being beyond the scope of the petition.

Written by Man Aman Singh Chhina | New Delhi | Updated: March 9, 2017 6:31 pm
aft, armed forces tribunal, supreme court, army court, indian army, army tribunal court, high court, aft lucknow bench, allahabad high court, legal news There had been a tussle between the Centre and higher judiciary over revising the MoP for judicial appointments.

In a strong reminder to the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) to restrain itself while commenting on constitutional court decisions, the Supreme Court has set aside the observations of the Lucknow Bench of the tribunal wherein it had observed that a single bench decision of the High Court setting aside an interim order of the AFT was not binding on it. The AFT, while hearing the case of a Lieutenant Colonel by way of an interim order, had ordered the constitution of a Committee by the Chief of Army Staff to look into the allegations made by the officer regarding unsavoury behaviour with his wife by a high ranking army officer.

The order of the AFT was challenged by the Union of India in the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court which set aside the AFT’s directions on grounds of being beyond the scope of the petition filed by the officer. It also ruled that the tribunal could only have gone into the validity of the Annual Confidential Reports (ACR) challenged by the petitioner and that the tribunal did not possess powers of the Supreme Court or the High Court under writ jurisdiction.

However, despite the quashing of its order, the AFT, while grating the main relief of setting aside of the ACR to the petitioner, reiterated its directions of formation of a committee and recorded that the High Court’s judgement was ‘per incuriam’ and lacked ‘binding effect’.

The order of the tribunal was then challenged by the Union of India in the Supreme Court wherein it was averred by the Central Government that “the Armed Forces Tribunal in the impugned judgment has exceeded its jurisdiction by expressing opinion on the High Court judgment which was relevant in the issue and such comments are unwarranted.”

While upholding the setting aside of the officer’s ACR, the Supreme Court has agreed with the Government’s contention and has set aside the observations and opinion expressed by the AFT on the High Court’s directions. The Supreme Court has further recorded “we have no hesitation to say that the Tribunal will be well advised to maintain restraint while expressing its opinion on those issues.”

The Supreme Court has, in the past, reiterated that High Courts being constitutional courts shall retain the superiority and powers under Article 226 over tribunals which are merely creations of the statute and which cannot substitute Constitutional Courts.

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  1. Chandran Krishnan Peechulli
    Nov 5, 2017 at 3:44 pm
    LEGAL PROFESSIONAL PRIVILEGES (LLP) Is ‘a fundamental human right guaranteed by the common law, and a principle which is central to the administration of justice.’ A person’s right to claim LPP has come to be rightly accepted as a central pillar of justice system, affording them fair access to the legal justice system by protecting their, potentially prejudicial, disclosures to their lawyers, from future disclosure’s against their wishes. Its importance grew over the centuries
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    1. Chandran Krishnan Peechulli
      Nov 5, 2017 at 3:31 pm
      Central Government Act, Sec. 31 in the Armed Forces Tribunal Act, 2007, Leave to appeal. Needs amendment to aggrieved Ex.Serviceman, seeking justice with fair-play, leaving no monopolistic rights to harm or cause injury to the rightful claim. Humble and gentle submission by, Chandran P.K. Fellow - Chartered Engineer and Corporate Lawyer, Research Scholar in Ph.D.(Law)
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      1. Chandran Krishnan Peechulli
        Nov 5, 2017 at 2:49 pm
        Shri. G.JEYAPRAKASH. Absolutely agree with you " IT IS VERY DIFFICULT TO APPROACH S.C FOR LEAVE TO APPEAL, as AGAINST AFT ORDERS, since MOST VETERANS ARE IN the late age of their life , with geriatric diseases. Self, despite filing a Special Leave to Appeal at Chennai Regional Bench of The Armed Forces Tribunal, where the honourable Court, which has unfairly dismissed OA7/2013 and hastily dismissed RA16/2013 victimising an ex-serviceman who joined during National Emergency, at an early age of about 15 fifteen years, joining as a Signal Boy at Boys Regiment, of No.1 STC Jabalpur, Madhya Prades. Also son of an ex-serviceman of the Royal Indian Army, Artillery, recipient of Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, an ex-serviceman's family whose patriotic scale therefore to the nation cannot be under-estimated at the same time, while unfairly the same is unduly held with deliberate delay by the honourable court, to issue ORDER or REJECT the Leave to Appeal S.C. Lacks pragmatic ruling to aid
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        1. Chandran Krishnan Peechulli
          Nov 5, 2017 at 2:23 pm
          HIGH TIME THE JUDICIARY DEMONSTRATE TO BE THE BEST OF THE COUNTRY WHERE THE CITIZENS OF THE COUNTRY AT LARGE, ALAS ULTIMATELY DEPENDS FOR FAIR-PLAY AND JUSTICE. THE CITIZENS OF INDIA, WHEN THINKS AND BUILD THEIR OWN THOUGHTS WITH INTER-ACTION OF GOOD SELFLESS THOUGHTS, FOR THEIR OWN COUNTRY'S WELL- BEING BY UNITY, SOLIDARITY AND WITH A SENSE OF PATRIOTISM, CAN UNITEDLY BUILD-UP BETTER ACCEPTABLE THOUGHTS CAN THEN STRENGTHEN THE COUNTRY'S STAND AGAINST ANY COUNTRY, AND FOR THE PROSPERITY OF OUR NATION. BY VIRTUE OF SUCH THOUGHTS IN ACTION, ONE CAN SCALE THEIR OWN THOUGHTS AMONG OTHERS AND BETTER THE SAME CONSIDER-ING THE SCOPE OF DEVELOPMENT IN OUR DAILY LIVES. THE SCALE OF THOUGHT REQUIRED IS BOUND BY NOTHING BUT THE SCOPE OF THE THE SUM OF THE AMBITION S AMONG-ST THE CITIZENS, WHO BE KEPT IN HIGH MORALE. FOR NET RESULT, SINCE THE PRECIOUS TIME OF HUMAN s ARE THE MOST PRECIOUS WHICH ONCE LOST IS NEVER REGAINED UNLIKE ANY OTHER MATTER LOST.
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          1. V
            Vish
            Mar 9, 2017 at 11:44 pm
            It is a worthwhile reminder to all courts, including Supreme Court and High Court, Central and State governments also. STAY WITHIN YOUR LIMITS.
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