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Saturday, August 8, 2015

The loss of fundamental rights of the military community: Ray of hope as Supreme Court issues notice

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:


Amit Prabhu said...

Bravo sir

Anonymous said...

Finally there is hope.

Jps Shergill said...

Down right shocking.Defies all logic .Is the soldier Enemy no. one. The Govt of India has been sadly treating the Armed Forces as an entity that can be kicked around and dumped into the lowest dark pits of garbage.But when there is a war,or even a cross border violence ,these same scum of society are expected to sacrifice their lives.Their families suffer separation even during peacetime.
The honourable Supreme Court is the only institution that has come to the rescue of the silent sufferers,time and again. Let's hope there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Anonymous said...

Good Show
This really goes to show that when we care to put our act together, things can be brought back to good.
Wonderful example of how well meaning folks can change things by perserverance.
Keep it up

Alok Asthana said...

I ask again - If this is the level of fundamental rights we get from our system, why should anyone die for it?

Patriot said...

I think it was one of the very rare mistake wherein short-sighted decision was made with far reaching consequences for military community. A community which is already very strangely treated by our Babudom and Political executive.

Irony is that it was mindlessly supported by a few cheap popularity seekers from military itself. We must be thankful to untiring efforts of Maj Navdeep for making HSC aware of the impact and hopefully it shall be reversed in due course of time. MoD as usual will do its best to stall these efforts. Good luck, Bravehearts!!!

Wg Cdr M Mujeeb(Retd) Advocate Supreme Court said...

The Supreme Court has on several occasions impressed that the Fundamental Rights of soldiers can not be abrogated in totality and they can not be made second class citizens

Insofar as an appeal is concerned even if the remedy under Section 31 is denied an SLP under Article 136 can still be filed.

I am f the opinion that even if right to appeal is denied by AFT, a SLP will be in order

Thanks and regards

WG CDR (RETD) MOHAMMED MUJEEB Advocate, Supreme Court