Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT)

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The Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) Chandigarh Bench Bar Association recently went on an indefinite strike in protest against the AFT chairperson’s decision to transfer a judicial member from the city to Kolkata.

About Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT):

  • AFT is a military tribunal in India established in 2009 under the Armed Forces Tribunal Act, 2007.
  • Functions:
    • To provide for the adjudication or trial of disputes and complaints with respect to commission, appointments, enrolment and conditions of service in respect of persons subject to the Army Act, 1950, the Navy Act, 1957 and the Air Force Act, 1950.
    • To provide for appeals arising out of orders, findings or sentences of courts-martial held under the said Acts and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
  • The Tribunal can also dismiss the appeal if the court martial findings are found to be justified.
  • Any appeal by a person against a decision given by the tribunal can only be taken up in the Supreme Court.
  • Benches: It has its Principal Bench at New Delhi and eight Regional Benches at Jaipur, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Guwahati, Kolkata, Chennai, Kochi and Mumbai.
  • Composition:
    • Each Bench comprises of a Judicial Member and an Administrative Member.
    • The Judicial Members are retired High Court Judges, and Administrative Members are retired Members of the Armed Forces who have held the rank of Major General/ equivalent or above for a period of three years or more.
    • Judge Advocate General (JAG), who has held the appointment for at least one year, are also entitled to be appointed as the Administrative Member.
  • Functioning:
    • The Tribunal shall transact their proceedings as per the Armed Forces Tribunal (Procedure) rules, 2008. 
    • All proceedings in the Tribunal will be in English. 
    • The Tribunal will normally follow the procedure as is practiced in the High Courts of India. 


Q1) What is a Tribunal?

A tribunal is a quasi-judicial institution that deals with the resolution of disputes pertaining to administration, taxation, environment, securities, etc. Tribunals in India are adjudicatory bodies that serve as an alternative to the traditional court system.  Tribunals were established to provide swift, cost-effective, and decentralized resolution of disputes across various issues.

Source: Armed Forces Tribunal Chandigarh bar association goes on indefinite strike over transfer of judge