MoD revamps policy to curb court cases

CHANDIGARH: About three months after a committee of experts constituted to recommend steps to improve service conditions and mechanism to redress grievances in the armed forces submitted its report, the Ministry of Defence has revamped its litigation policy to curb the number of court cases.

Vijay Mohan

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 10

About three months after a committee of experts constituted to recommend steps to improve service conditions and mechanism to redress grievances in the armed forces submitted its report, the Ministry of Defence has revamped its litigation policy to curb the number of court cases.

Taking cognisance of routine filing of appeals in the Supreme Court by the ministry in cases decided in favour of employees and pensioners, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar issued strict guidelines last week to curb the tendency by overhauling the procedure of litigating in service matters, sources said.

The fresh procedure will now involve the judgment being sent by the Defence Services Headquarters to the Joint Secretary (JS) concerned along with its comments on whether or not to file an appeal.

The JS, after review, will send the file back for implementation or refer it to the Legal Adviser (Defence), if he feels it warrants an appeal in the higher court. If the Legal Adviser also feels that the case is not fit for appeal and the JS agrees, then also the file will be sent for implementation. In case the Joint Secretary is still in favour of filing an appeal, the approval of the Additional Secretary in the MoD will be required.

The new policy also states that no appeals will be filed in sensitive matters or those involving public policy, unless approved by the Defence Minister.

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