Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh has exhorted the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) to fast-track resolution of pending cases while ensuring that the judicial process is followed earnestly without any violation. He was addressing an event organised to celebrate AFT Raising Day in New Delhi on August 04, 2023. The Raksha Mantri asserted that while there is a huge number of pending cases in different courts across the country, specialised tribunals are set up to reduce the burden. He emphasised that while such a number poses the challenge of justice not being provided to the people at the right time; quick disposal without paying attention to the judicial process is even more dangerous.
“It is said that ‘Justice delayed is justice denied’. People’s faith in the judicial system decreases if there is delay in justice. Fast-track courts and tribunals etc. are established from time-to-time to speed up the judicial process. But, there is a need to be careful while expediting the judicial process, otherwise there is a danger of ‘Justice hurried is justice buried’. There is a need to strike a balance between time and procedure to dispose of cases and provide justice to the people. Conscience is another factor that plays a major role. Without justice, no society can attain perfection. It is our duty to deliver justice to the right person at the right time,” Shri Rajnath Singh said.
Stressing further on the need to adopt a balanced approach in the functioning of AFT, Shri Rajnath Singh asserted that the cases should be resolved while keeping in mind the needs, interests, resources and limitations of all involved parties. He explained it with the reference of a democratic system, where people’s representatives fulfil the needs of different sections of society by maintaining a balance. He added that as the country has entered ‘Amrit Kaal’ and set the goal of building a developed India by 2047, it needs to be ensured that affordable justice is provided to all strata of society. The Government is fully committed to achieving the objective, he said.
The AFT was established in terms of Armed Forces Tribunal Act, 2007. It was inaugurated by the President of India on August 08, 2009. It was established to ensure speedy and inexpensive justice to Ex-Servicemen, their families and war-widows, besides the serving personnel of the Armed Forces. As on June 30, 2023, it has disposed of more than 74,000 cases out of total over 97,500 cases, keeping the disposal rate of about 76%.
On the occasion, the first volume of ‘AFT Law Journal’ containing references answered by the AFT so far was also unveiled by the Raksha Mantri. Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral R Hari Kumar, Chief of the Army Staff General Manoj Pande and AFT Chairman Justice Shri Rajendra Menon were among those present on the occasion.