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Posted at: Aug 4, 2015, 1:44 AM; last updated: Aug 4, 2015, 12:57 AM (IST)

AFT orders: SC takes up plea on HC’s jurisdiction

Vijay Mohan

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3

The Supreme Court today agreed to take up a petition seeking reconsideration of its order on the jurisdiction for appeals against orders passed by the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT).

In March, an Apex court Bench had ordered that all appeals against orders passed by the AFT would lie with it and not with the High Courts. Consequently, the High Courts had found their hands tied by the SC order and petitions filed by serving and retired armed forces personnel to them were accordingly disposed off. It had affected a large number of ex-servicemen, disabled soldiers and widows since obtaining legal remedy in the SC is monetarily and physically difficult.

Section 31 of the AFT Act provides that appeals before the SC cannot be filed unless the case involves a “point of law of general public importance” and the SC has also held that issues such as pension, promotions, pay scales, etc., do not fall in this category.

Taking up two special leave petitions filed by Dakshina Devi, the widow of an Army jawan, and Krishan Nanda Mishra, a disabled soldier whose appeals against AFT orders were disposed off by the Punjab and Haryana High Court in May, a Division Bench of the SC comprising Justices Ranjan Gogoi and NV Ramana today issued notices to the Centre. Petitioners’ advocates Aishwarya Bhati and Arvind P Datar today contended in the court that the current state left litigants without any remedy against orders of the AFT.

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