SC issues notice to government on challenging Armed Forces Tribunal decisions in HC
Giving a ray of hope to veterans, disabled soldiers and military widows, the Supreme Court had issued notices to the Central Government seeking reconsideration of the entire issue 
 
The Supreme Court has issued a notice to the Central Government on a special leave petition (SLP) that seeks to reconsider restraint on accessing High Courts against orders passed by the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT).
 
This gives a ray of hope to veterans, disabled soldiers and military widows whose writ petitions against orders of the AFT were recently disposed by High Courts finding their hands tied by a judgement of the Supreme Court.  
 
Earlier in March this year, the apex court held that orders of the AFT can not be challenged by affected parties before the High Courts. And the only remedy to challenge the same is before the Supreme Court by way of an appeal as provided in Sections 30 and 31 of the Armed Forces Tribunal Act, 2007. 
 
Appearing for aggrieved litigants, Aishwarya Bhati and Senior Advocate Arvind P Datar submitted that the current state leaves litigants remediless against orders of the AFT because of the statutory bar of "general public importance" for approaching the SC.
 
It was pointed out that a similar controversy pertaining to the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) had been addressed by a seven judge Constitution Bench of the SC when it was ruled that the apex court could not become the first appellate court for such service matters and that challenges to Tribunal decisions would be heard by Division Benches of HCs. It was also submitted that it was a known legal proposition that all Tribunals being mere creations of the statute were subordinate to the writ jurisdiction of Constitutional High Courts.  
 
Many ex-servicemen and veteran organisations had written to the Prime Minister and the Defence Minister to intervene in the matter since the provisions of the AFT Act and the March 2015 decision of the SC had left them without any remedy when the AFT refused to grant them relief. 
 
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    Lok Sabha speaker suspends 25 Congress MPs
    The parliament logjam took an ugly turn on Monday when Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan suspended 25 Congress MPs for five days for "willfully obstructing the business of the house".
     
    The Congress MPs, including Gaurav Gogoi, Sushmita Dev, Ranjeet Ranjan, K.C. Venugopal and Deepinder Singh Hooda, were "named" under rule 374(A).
     
    The rule says in the event of grave disorder occasioned by a member coming into the well of the house or abusing the rules persistently and willfully obstructing its business by shouting slogans or otherwise, such member shall, on being named by the speaker, stand automatically suspended from the service of the house for five consecutive sittings or the remainder of the session, whichever is less.
     
    All the Congress members protesting in the well, however, kept up their high decibel protest inside the house even while their names were being read out.
     
    Earlier, the Lok Sabha secretariat had said 27 members have been suspended. They later corrected the number to 25.
     
    The speaker's action came soon after the failure of an all party meeting called by the government to break the parliament logjam.
     
    The members of the Congress, which has been protesting demanding the resignations of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and two BJP chief ministers, have been holding placards and shouting slogans in the house.
     
    They were protesting against the government over the Lalit Modi issue and Vyapam scam.
     
    The Congress has 44 members in the Lok Sabha.
     
    Immediately after naming the members, Mahajan adjourned the house for the day.
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    COMMENTS

    Anand Vaidya

    4 years ago

    What a waste of taxpayers' money? The street monkeys can put up a far better show..

    Rs.50,000 crore earmarked for 100 smart cities: Naidu
    Union minister M. Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday said Rs.50,000 crore have been earmarked to develop 100 smart cities in the country, with each selected city to get annual central assistance of Rs.100 crore for five years.
     
    Naidu, the union urban development minister, was speaking at an international seminar on sustainable and inclusive urban development organised by the National Institute for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog, the Institute for Human Development (IHD) and Department of Urban and Regional Planning of the University of Florida here.
     
    "Special emphasis will be given to citizen participation while developing these smart cities. To recast the urban landscape of the country and make lives of urban people comfortable is the need of the hour," he said.
     
    Stating that "sustainable and inclusive urban development is the main focus of the government and there is a need to go for reforms in a big way", he said, "rapid urbanisation poses grave challenges for sustainability of the human race".
     
    "To ensure that urban development is sustainable, the government is going to promote rainwater harvesting, replace green buildings with conventional buildings, replace conventional power with solar power, replace conventional lights with LED lights for conserving energy and create community toilets to ensure access to toilets for all," the minister said.
     
    Stating that "Smart cities need smart leadership", Naidu said, "The smart city movement was classified as a mode of making life more comfortable for everyone, connecting the smart city initiative with the inclusive development mindset."
     
    "Good urban life also requires housing, office space and good transportation. Biggest challenge in the country has been one of creating space for cities and availability of land," NITI Aayog vice Chairman Arvind Panagariya said at the event.
     
    Naidu also launched the online e-learning portal for Clean India which would impart training and education to field functionaries and workers involved in helping realise Prime Minister Narendra Modi's dream to ensure a clean India.
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