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ARMED FORCES TRIBUNAL

Focus: GS-II Governance

Why in news?

  • Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) Chairperson has inaugurated hearings by video conferencing for all ten Regional Benches of the Armed Forces Tribunal.
  • The Principal Bench of Armed Forces Tribunal is the only court that has been conducting physical hearings in 2020 during lockdown – taking into account hardships and limitations faced by Armed Forces personnel, retired as well as serving, primarily due to their far-flung locations and various security related issues.

Armed Forces Tribunal

  • Armed Forces Tribunal is a military tribunal in India. It was established under the Armed Forces Tribunal Act, 2007 – hence, it is a Statutory Body.
  • Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) is provided with the powers for the adjudication or trial of disputes and complaints with respect to commission, appointments, enrolments and conditions of service in respect of persons subject to the Army Act, 1950, The Navy Act, 1957 and the Air Force Act, 1950.
  • The AFT can further provide for appeals arising out of orders, findings or sentences of courts- martial held under the said Acts and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
  • Besides the Principal Bench in New Delhi, AFT has Regional Benches at Chandigarh, Lucknow, Kolkatta, Guwahati, Chennai, Kochi, Mumbai and Jaipur.
  • Each of the Regional Benches have a single bench (Except Chandigarh and Lucknow which have 3 benches each) comprising of a Judicial Member and an Administrative Member.
  • The Judicial Members are retired High Court Judges and Administrative Members are retired Members of the Armed Forces who have held rant of Major General/ equivalent or above for a period of three years or more, Judge Advocate General (JAG), who have held the appointment for at least one year are also entitled to be appointed as the Administrative Member.
  • The Tribunal will normally follow the procedure as is practiced in the High Courts of India.
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