Four months after a decision of the Supreme Court barring serving and retired members of the military community, and their family members, from approaching the High Court (a right available to every Citizen of India) when they were aggrieved by the orders of the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) and consequently rendering them lesser citizens, the Supreme Court has graciously again put the Central Government on notice on the subject.
The March 2015 decision of the Supreme Court had come on a plea of the last Government wherein it was averred that the military community’s fundamental rights could be abrogated. It practically made the AFT the first and the last court for affected parties since even a direct appeal to the Supreme Court is barred under Section 31 of the Armed Forces Tribunal Act unless there is involvement of an exceptional ‘point of law of general public importance’. Today, while losing litigants on the civil side can have recourse to two layers of judicial review/appeal, their counterparts from the military community and their families have none. While even Kasabs and Memoms convicted by the highest Court of the land can exhaust their remedies time and again in case they are aggrieved by judicial process, the protectors of the frontiers and their families have nowhere to go.
The fresh development has been covered at many places, some of such reports are: