M A I N   N E W S

ACRs within purview of judicial bodies: Tribunal
Vijay Mohan/TNS

Chandigarh, July 14
Holding that the courts cannot close their eyes if flaws and illegalities in Annual Confidential Reports (ACRs) are brought to their notice, the Armed Forces Tribunal had rejected the contention of the Defence Ministry that ACR matters cannot be looked into by judicial bodies.

Setting aside the ACR of a Lieutenant Colonel that had been initiated at the time when he was facing a court of inquiry, the Tribunal’s bench comprising Justice Ghanshyam Prashad and Lt Gen H.S. Panag (retd) asked the authorities concerned to be fair while dealing with complaints filed by officers concerning their careers.

Lt Col S.N. Pokhriyal had challenged the action of the Military Secretary’s Branch of considering an ACR written in March 1999 for his promotion boards held in 2007. The officer had contended that he was facing a Court of Inquiry from April 1998, which resulted in award of “reproof” to him in June 1999, and hence in accordance with the then applicable rules, the ACR could have only been initiated after June. He also contended that the ACR was unsigned and the contents not communicated to him and hence, had no value even on that ground.

Upholding the contentions, the Tribunal observed rules provided that ACRs cannot be initiated when an officer is facing disciplinary action so that the initiating superior officer does not get biased or prejudiced.

Rejecting the stand of the respondents that the petition was barred by time, the Tribunal held that the incorrect action of 1999 had affected the officer in 2007 when his promotion was due and hence he had full right to challenge it.





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