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(Feb 02, 2008) On December 25, 2007, the President of India gave assent to the promulgation of the Armed Forces Tribunal Act, 2007. The Act provides for an Armed Forces Tribunal for the adjudication or trial, including appeals, of disputes and complaints with respect to commissions, appointments, enrollment, and conditions of service for persons covered under the Army, Navy, and Air Force Acts.

The Tribunal, with its principal bench to be located in New Delhi, will have the powers of a High Court. It will consist of judicial and administrative members, with their numbers to be fixed as required. Judicial members will be selected from among retired High Court judges and the administrative members from among officers who served as judge-advocates not below the rank of major general or the equivalent. Only a former judge of the Supreme Court or a former Chief Justice of a High Court will act as Chairperson.

After the Tribunal is constituted, all pending trials and appeals before civil courts will stand transferred to it. Appeals against verdicts of court martial proceedings would then be made only before the Tribunal. It will have the authority to subpoena witnesses; order production of documents and evidence, including reports from court-martial; and appoint expert witnesses. Without being bound by the procedure laid down in the Code of Civil Procedure, it will be guided by principles of natural justice and the provisions of the Armed Forces Tribunal Act. (Vijay Mohan, Way Paved for Armed Forces Tribunal, THE TRIBUNE, Jan. 9, 2008, available at http://www.tribuneindia.com/2008/20080109/main6.htm.)

Author: Krishan Nehra More by this author
Topic: Armed forces and national security More on this topic
Jurisdiction: India More about this jurisdiction

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Last updated: 02/02/2008