Armed Forces Tribunal – AFT
In 1999, the Law Commission’s 169 th report stated that a special tribunal for all three wings of the military services is required for resolutions of disciplinary and service matters. Thus Armed Forces Tribunal also known as AFT was established under the Armed Forces Tribunal Act, 2007 in the constitution of India.
AFT provides effective redressal mechanism for personnel of all three wings of armed forces viz Army, Navy and Airforce. The Act was passed on the basis of Recommendations of 169 th Law Commission Report and various Supreme Court directives.
The Principal Bench of Armed Force Tribunal is located at the capital city of India – New Delhi. There are eight other AFT benches located in different parts of India like Mumbai, Lucknow, Kolkata, Chennai, Kochi, Chandigarh, Guwahati, and Jaipur.
Armed Force Tribunal consists of a Chairperson and two other members – Judicial and Administrative. The number of the other Judicial and Administrative members is decided by the Central Government. Normally each bench consists of one Judicial and one Administrative Member. Chairpersons and other Members are elected for a time span of four years.
Qualification Requirement for Each Member of AFT:
1. Chairperson: The person who seeks to hold the office of Chairperson of AFT must have been either a retired judge of Supreme Court or a Retired Chief Justice of High Court.
2. Judicial Member: The person who seeks to be the member of AFT should have been a Judge of
3. Administrative Member: The person who seeks to hold the position of an Administrative Member of AFT must have held the rank of Major General or above in army or equivalent rank in Navy or Air Force for at least three years and must have served for at least one year as Judge Advocate General in the Army or the Navy or the Air Force.
Some important Notes regarding AFT’s jurisdiction are…
The territory that comes under the Armed Force Tribunal’s jurisdiction covers the entire country i.e. whole of India’s three armed forces – Army, Navy and Airforce. However, Paramilitary Forces don’t come under AFT’s jurisdiction.
The function of AFT is to hear appeals against any decision, order, finding and sentence passed by Court Martial and related matters.
If the Armed Force Tribunal finds any sentence given by Court Martial as unjust, it holds the power to modify the whole part of the sentence. If the Armed Force Tribunal finds that the given sentence by the Court Martial is excessive than it holds the power to allay the punishment or commute the punishment to a lesser one. Also, if AFT finds any punishment to be insignificant according to the offence than it can enhance it as well.
Armed Forces Tribunal also holds the right to suspend the imprisonment and release the convict on parole.
Armed Force Tribunal is considered to be a criminal court with respect to Indian Penal Code, and Code of Criminal Procedure.
If an appeal has to be made against the decision of Armed Force Tribunal than it can only be taken by the Supreme Court. High Courts are not allowed to entertain such appeals
For filing an AFT case or For any other case related to the Army, Navy, Air Force tribunal or Jurisdiction matter/s, Pension, Medical, Disabilities and Supersession, get one of the top advocates in Mumbai. (Contact id - firstname.lastname@example.org)
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