Regulations
Remove legal unfairness, demand ex-servicemen
Ex-servicemen demand right to appeal to High Courts as fundamental right exercised by other citizens, against an order of SC making Armed Forces Tribunal the first and last forum for them 
 
The Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM), which is Federation of Military Veterans' Movement, has requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to abrogate Sections 30 and 31 of the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) Act. Abrogation of these sections will help challenge orders of the AFT on the lines of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) and make justice accessible and practical for defence personnel, ex-servicemen, widows and their families, IESM said.
 
The letter sent by IESM refers to a decision on 11 March 2015 by the Supreme Court, which effectively ensures that the AFT becomes the first and the last forum for litigants, including defence personnel, veterans and their families.
 
In a letter, IESM, said, "The judgement was passed on an appeal filed by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and perhaps also the Army Head Quarter (HQ) during the time of the last Government. We also have reasonable information to believe that one of the grounds raised by the MoD/Army in the appeal for denying the right of judicial remedy like other citizens of India, was that Fundamental Rights can be restricted/abrogated under Article 33 of the Constitution for defence personnel and hence a judicial remedy under writ jurisdiction of High Court would not be available."
 
"If it is true that this argument was raised by the MoD/Army, then it is the most unfortunate that the system itself is pleading for placing defence personnel on a lower pedestal than other citizens and pleading before the SC that the military community does not deserve the enjoyment of fundamental rights like others. It is a well known fact that Article 33 only operates during performance of duties to maintain discipline and has no connection with right to access of justice," the letter says. 
 
It is also well known that the majority of cases in the AFT pertain to retired personnel, military widows and their families and hence Article 33 even otherwise has no applicability. This is also against the spirit of Article 39A of the Constitution, which underlines equal justice for all citizens, IESM said.
 
According to the letter, there was an attempt to convince military community that the decision will lead to ‘quicker’ justice to defence personnel. However, it says, on closer and deeper examination of the issue, the following real facts and fallouts emerge:
  1. There is actually no right of appeal to the Supreme Court from AFT orders as per the AFT Act since an appeal only lies in exceptional cases involving ‘point of law of general public importance’ vide Section 31 of AFT Act. Hence what has been pleaded before the SC is that AFT should become the court of first instance as well as the court of last instance, leaving defence personnel, veterans and widows remediless since it is well known that 99.9% of cases can never involve ‘public importance’ questions. The decision will not lead to ‘quicker’ justice but in reality remove all chances and channels of challenge/appeal against AFT decisions. Can this bogey of ‘quicker’ justice be raised at the price of fundamental rights of accessible justice and remedy to citizens? 
  2. It is well known that almost all such litigants cannot afford litigation in SC due to its prohibitive cost and the aura itself of being the highest court of the country. It is not understood how the defence ministry expects poor litigants including disabled soldiers and widows from all over the country to travel to Delhi and engage lawyers in SC to fight their cases. Most of the cases in the AFT involve issues such as disability benefits, pension, minor allowances, pay fixation, ACRs etc and litigants would now be expected to suffer in silence if they feel that they have not got justice from AFT. 
  3. Defence personnel, veterans, widows and families have been deprived of their basic right of access to justice due to the plea raised by the MoD/Army wherein while all citizens of the country would have access to multiple tiers of justice, not even one tier would be available to us. Even civil government employees aggrieved by orders of Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) can approach the HC if they are dissatisfied and then further the SC, whereas similar access has been denied to us and after an order of the AFT even the SC cannot be approached as a matter of vested right unless there is involvement of a point of general public importance. 
  4. We hereby express our dismay on the attempt of the official system to convey to the SC that fundamental rights of the military community should be restricted or abrogated. We are disappointed that the system itself by raising the plea of Article 33 is attempting to prove that defence personnel, ex-servicemen and their families are lower than the ordinary person on the street. This will have disastrous consequences in the years to come. If the MoD/Army makes such averments pleading for taking away the fundamental rights of their own members and former members and their families, then it is extremely unfortunate.
  5. It is well known that the AFT functions under the control of the MoD and even Members of AFT are appointed by the MoD and selected by a selection committee, which has the Defence Secretary as its member. AFT has also not been given civil contempt powers to ensure compliance of its orders. In other words, an ineffectual body has been created which functions under the MoD and then now on the plea of the MoD it has been assured that there is no effective appeal making it an all supreme body.
Maj Gen Satbir Singh (Retd), Chairman of IESM says, "We express dissatisfaction at the stand and damaging stance of the MoD and the Army in the said case, which has led to such a situation. We request the PM to kindly abrogate Sections 30 and 31 of the AFT Act so that AFT orders can be challenged on the lines of the CAT thereby making justice accessible and practical for defence personnel, ex-servicemen, widows and their families. 
 
Tamil Nadu-based Welfare Service of Ex-Servicemen/Families and Others, also supported the demand made by IESM. "We fully support the ex-servicemen associations from Punjab and Chandigarh. We request you to kindly initiate steps to abrogate and repeal Sections 30 and 31 of the AFT Act in order to make justice accessible to defence personnel on the lines of CAT so that aggrieved parties are able to approach the High Courts, which are independent court unlike the Tribunals, which operate under the control of Ministry of Defence and which do not inspire the confidence of litigants, " the letter sent by the association to PM Modi says. 

User

COMMENTS

maey

2 years ago

Maey, My ex (Russ) broke up with me couple of weeks ago after 5 years. He started behaving strange when he got a new job. I later found out he was hanging out with a girl he met at his place of work. He now talks to me anyhow and even beat me up. I just never wanted to lose my man. I love him so much. I told a cuz about it, and she gave me a contact of a spell caster she has used before; +1 (443) 459-1140, [email protected]. I called him immediately because i was so desperate and losing my mind already. The spell caster was very honest to let me know that in 24 hours or less I would have Russ back. I was skeptical cos I haven't done this before. But my cousin encouraged me and told me about how she got results from his spell too.
After he has done the spell, Russ sms me and call some hours later, he said "baby i'm sorry, can we meet pls?".
Since then he has been great having him back.
Thanks to vudoo priest.

SuchindranathAiyerS

2 years ago

Service men have far too exalted an opinion of India's higher judiciary. They should remember what happened to General V.K.Singh's date of birth case. India's Courts, like India's Constitution and laws slice and dice "Justice" by caste, tribe, religion, gender, influence and wealth in their own good time. By proscribing them from approaching the High Courts, the law spares them a lot of expense, time and humiliation. India is about "who" never about "what". Show me the person, and I shall show you the law.

Concor's depot still not ready since 2010

The state government had, on 17 October 2008, signed an agreement with Concor for setting up the inland container depot in Solan district with an outlay of Rs57.45 crore

 

The exporters in Himachal Pradesh's prominent industrial belt Baddi are yet to get the benefit of an inland container depot of the Container Corporation of India (Concor), which was scheduled to be ready by January 2010, the Comptroller Auditor General of India (CAG) has said.
 
The government watchdog said failure to operationalise the inland container depot rendered the expenditure of Rs19.75 crore unfruitful as the intended beneficiaries remained deprived of the benefits.
 
The auditor, in its recent report, said non-issue of necessary notification by the government of India, the Central Board of Excise and Customs and non-posting of staff were mainly responsible for its delay.
 
It blamed the state director industries, too, for not pursuing the case regularly with the government of India over delay in its completion.
 
The state government had, on 17 October 2008, signed an agreement with Concor for setting up the inland container depot in Solan district with an outlay of Rs57.45 crore.
 
The state-owned Concor -- which operates inland transport services and cargo handling across the country -- was to construct the depot in 15 months. It was to invest Rs27.78 crore out of the total expenditure.
 
The state in April 2009 transferred 17.2 acres of government land to Concor for the construction of the depot on a 95-year lease of Re1 per acre per annum.
 
The phase I of the project, which included construction of a warehouse, was completed in May 2013.
 
The phase II, in which the depot was to be linked with the rail network, was scheduled to be undertaken after commissioning of the Chandigarh-Baddi rail link and till that time the road-fed service was to be provided.
 
Official sources said that when the agreement was signed in 2008, then chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal had said Concor would transport products valued at over Rs700 crore annually.
 

User

Was GRP Commissioner Singhal transferred for raising commuter issues?
Dr Ravinder Singhal as Commissioner of GRP raised several discrepancies related with faster medical treatment for injured and the 108 ambulance service, and this may be a reason for his transfer in just eight months, feel activists
 
The Maharashtra Government has transferred Dr Ravindra Singhal, the Commissioner of Govt Railway Police (GRP) as Special Inspector General (Training). Although he was transferred along with 37 other officers from the Indian Police Service (IPS) cadre, Dr Singhal's posting does not appear to be 'routine', as he was made Commissioner of GRP just eight months ago. Dr Singhal was very active in protecting railway commuters and raised several issues like medical treatment for victims during golden hour, and non-availability of proper equipment in 108 ambulances and this may be the reason for his transfer, feel activists. 
 
According to replies received by activist Samir Zaveri under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, Dr Singhal had sent three letters to General Manager (GM) of Western Railway (WR) for providing medical treatment to victims during the first hour of the incident.
 
Dr Singhal, in a letter dated 8 April 2015 to the GM (WR) raised the issue of non-availability of necessary medical equipment in ambulances. Citing an incident on 14 March 2015, he said, "The injured was rushed to alliance hospital at Nalasopara through the ambulance but it was observed that there was no oxygen mask in the ambulance, so oxygen could not be given to patient and unfortunately the injured victim died in the hospital on the same day. This is a clear-cut breach of contract. So kindly instruct station masters to check the ambulance from time to time so that such incidents are averted and lives of the injured can be saved."
 
Health Services department in Maharashtra has signed an agreement with BVG India Ltd for providing ambulance services through 108 number helpline. Earlier in March, Maharashtra government informed the Bombay High Court that it had levied a fine of Rs2.24 lakh on BVG India. This came after the inspections ordered by the High Court found defaults and deficiencies in the 108 ambulance service. The court was hearing a petition filed by Zaveri seeking medical aid to rail accident victims within the "Golden hour" and setting up of emergency medical rooms at stations. 
 
In March, the IPS officer also requested the GM for WR to extend emergency medical treatment facility for injured persons in a railway accident between Virar to Palghar section. Since March 2012, WR is making arrangement for treatment of injured victims in nearby private hospitals at railway cost in Dahisar and Virar section. "...the same needs to be extended up to Palghar section as injured at present are being shifted to Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Hospital at Kandivli, which is at a distance of 60kms from Palghar station. Hence, it is necessary to tie up with nearby private hospital in Dahisar to Virar section to meet with the 'Golden Hour' rule and same needs to be extended up to Palghar station." Dr Singhal had said in the letter dated 17 March 2015.
 
He also requested the Railways to place necessary permanent signboards at accident-prone locations. He said, "...proper signage are required at different locations so that they act as deterrent to the commuters while they travel through trains and cross the railway line. The template for this can be designed by the RPF and GRP together and locations to fix them will also be done jointly."    
 
In addition, Dr Singhal, in a letter sent to Maharashtra's Director for Health Services, expressed displeasure for not being invited GRP Commissioner (Mumbai) and Superintendent of Police (at Pune and Nagpur) for Committee meetings related with the 108-ambulance service.
 
In a letter dated 17 March 2015, Dr Singhal said, "I wish to draw your attention towards the agreement dated 1 March 2014 made between Director, Health Services and BVG India Ltd for providing ambulance services through 108 helpline. It is obligation on your part to invite GRP Commissioner (and SPs) in Committee Meetings. However, we do not receive any intimation of invitation to attend such meetings, for which we can contribute positively."
 
No wonder, about 200 locals from Ghatkopar took out a morcha on Monday to protest transfer of Dr Singhal as GRP Commissioner. According to reports, protesters claimed that Dr Singhal's work was 'exemplary' as the Commissioner of GRP and he should have been given more time. 
 
In August 2014, Dr Singhal, who is from the 1996 IPS batch, took over as Commissioner for GRP. Earlier, in 2009 and 2010 he served as SP Railways at Nagpur, where he started a project for providing safe shelter and education to abandoned children who were seen begging on trains and at railway platforms.  

User

COMMENTS

Narendra Doshi

2 years ago

You are right MDT.Transfer needs to be reconsidered.
Kudos to Dr Singhal & our Sameer Zaveri.

We are listening!

Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.
  Loading...
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email

BUY NOW

The Scam
24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
Moneylife Magazine
Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Magazine and Lion Stockletter)