ARMED FORCES TRIBUNAL (AFT)
- The Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) is a specialized military tribunal established in India. It was set up under the Armed Forces Tribunal Act, 2007. This tribunal serves as a dedicated forum for the redressal of grievances and disputes related to the personnel of the Indian Armed Forces, including the Army, Navy, and Air Force.
- The primary objective of the Armed Forces Tribunal is to address issues such as service matters, promotions, postings, pension-related disputes, disciplinary matters, and appeals against court-martial verdicts. It provides a legal avenue for military personnel, both serving and retired, to seek justice and resolution for disputes arising from their service in the armed forces.
- The tribunal operates on a national level, with regional benches established across various parts of the country. These benches facilitate accessibility for military personnel to seek justice without having to approach civil courts, ensuring a specialized and expedited resolution of their grievances within the military justice system.
The primary purpose of the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) is to serve as a specialized and exclusive judicial body to address legal disputes and grievances concerning the personnel of the Indian Armed Forces. It was established to provide a dedicated forum for resolving various types of issues and conflicts faced by military personnel, both serving and retired.
The specific objectives and purposes of the Armed Forces Tribunal include:
Grievance Redressal: Providing a platform for military personnel to seek justice and resolution for a wide range of disputes related to their service in the armed forces. This encompasses issues such as service matters, promotions, postings, disciplinary actions, and pension-related matters.
Fair and Expedited Justice: Ensuring a fair, efficient, and expedited resolution of disputes within the military justice system without the need for approaching civil courts. The tribunal aims to streamline the process of addressing grievances, thereby reducing delays and providing timely justice to personnel.
Specialized Jurisdiction: Focusing on understanding the unique nature of military service and its associated challenges, the tribunal possesses specialized knowledge and expertise to handle matters specific to the armed forces.
Appeal and Review: Offering a platform for military personnel to appeal against decisions made by their respective service authorities, including challenging court-martial verdicts. It serves as a higher judicial forum for appeals, allowing for a review of decisions made by military courts or authorities.
National and Regional Coverage: Operating on a national level with multiple regional benches established across the country, the tribunal ensures accessibility for military personnel from various regions to seek legal recourse without geographical constraints
4. Significance of AFT
- It serves as a dedicated judicial forum specifically designed to address legal disputes and grievances of personnel serving in the Indian Armed Forces. This specialization ensures a nuanced understanding of military laws, procedures, and challenges unique to armed forces personnel.
- By providing a streamlined process for dispute resolution, the AFT offers a quicker and more efficient mechanism compared to civil courts. This helps in timely redressal of grievances, allowing military personnel to seek justice without prolonged delays.
- The tribunal enhances accessibility to justice for armed forces personnel across the country. With regional benches, it reduces the need for individuals to travel long distances or face geographical barriers when seeking legal recourse
- By addressing various issues such as service matters, promotions, postings, disciplinary actions, and pension-related disputes, the AFT safeguards the rights, interests, and welfare of military personnel, both serving and retired
- By providing a specialized forum for military-related disputes, the AFT helps alleviate the burden on civil courts, allowing them to focus on other civil and criminal cases.
|Subject||Military Tribunal||Military Court|
|Purpose||Specialized judicial body for grievances||Court within the military justice system|
|Nature||Administrative and quasi-judicial||Judicial|
|Jurisdiction||Redressal of grievances and disputes||Conducts trials and legal proceedings|
|Focus||Resolution of legal issues within forces||Conducting trials for military offenses|
|Composition||Comprised of judicial and administrative members||Consists of judges and legal officers|
|Appeals||Higher forum for appealing service-related decisions||Conducts trials and reaches verdicts|
|Review process||Reviewing decisions made by military authorities||Ruling on cases presented in court|
|Speed of proceedings||Aim for quicker resolution of disputes||Proceeds with legal trials and processes|
|Scope||Addresses service matters, promotions, postings, disciplinary actions, etc.||Conducts trials for offenses under military law|
|Accessibility||Multiple regional benches across the country||Centralized within the military framework|
|Legal expertise||Specialized in military laws and procedures||Adherence to legal protocols and precedents|
|Role in justice system||Supplemental to military court system||Integral part of the military justice system|