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Uttarakhand High Court’s Order to Establish Armed Forces Tribunal Set Aside by Supreme Court

Team SoOLEGAL 21 Feb 2019 10:53am

Uttarakhand High Court’s Order to Establish Armed Forces Tribunal Set Aside by Supreme Court

Recently, Uttarakhand High Court directed, by way of an order, that a permanent Bench of Armed Forces Tribunal be established in Uttarakhand. The High Court’s order had allowed an ex-serviceman lawyer's plea, through which he pleaded that a permanent Bench of Armed Forces Tribunal be established in the State of Uttarakhand. The reason for such establishment was that great difficulty was being faced by serving as well as retired ex-servicemen in having access to the Armed Forces Tribunal at Lucknow. The High Court judgment read as:


"In case, there is a permanent Bench in the State of Uttarakhand, the number of cases would also automatically go up. The number may be low today but it is likely to increase with the passage of time. The Central Government is empowered, under sub-section (4) of Section 5 of the Act, to establish Benches by issuing a necessary Notification. Speedy justice is the fundamental right under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. We, as a nation, are proud of the armed forces. The sacrifices made by the armed forces personnel during the active war and in peace cannot be forgotten. It is the duty cast upon the society as a whole to ensure that their grievances are redressed immediately. The Central Government cannot deny issuing notification for establishment of Regional Bench of Armed Forces Tribunal in the State of Uttarakhand on the pretext of huge expenditure. It is the duty of the Central Government to provide speedy justice to its citizens more particularly to the ex-servicemen."


 The Union of India was not satisfied with the High Court’s order and hence approached the Apex Court against the directions issued by the High Court. Their contention was that volume of work (220 cases) does not justify setting up of a permanent Bench. The Supreme Court bench gave an order, in which it said:

"We are of the view that the issue with regard to setting up of a permanent Bench and continuation of circuit benches of the Tribunal ought not to be the subject matter of determination by a judicial forum unless the facts of the case are so appalling that judicial interference will be called for. The present, in our considered view, is not such a case."
The Bench, comprising of CJI Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna, set aside the order.

Tagged: uttarakhand   highcourt   supremecourt   armedforcetribunal  
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