Armed Forces Tribunal wants contempt powers

Discussion in 'Internal Security' started by black eagle, Feb 1, 2011.

  1. black eagle

    black eagle Senior Member Senior Member

    Nov 22, 2009
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    Armed Forces Tribunal wants contempt powers

    New Delhi, Jan 30 (PTI) With the Defence Ministry refusing to reinstate a Muslim soldier acquitted of the charges of being an ISI agent, the Armed Forces Tribunal has asked the government to provide it with contempt powers to get its orders implemented.

    It has also allowed the counsel of the soldier to file a petition in the Supreme Court so that proper directions could be given to make the tribunal "functional and effective".

    The tribunal had last year quashed an Indian Army order against Naib Subedar Fayaz Khan where he was summarily court martialled from his post of religious teacher in 25Rajput Regiment on allegations that he had links with Islamic terror groups.

    "This is an unfortunate matter as the order has not been complied with till this date. Notice has been issued a number of times to all authorities including the Defence Secretary but without any result.

    "We feel that we are handicapped because we do not have powers to issue a civil contempt to get the orders of the tribunal executed," its chairperson Justice A K Mathur said while hearing Khan''s petition.

    Expressing the tribunal''s "helplessness", he said, "It is sad that the power of civil contempt for getting the tribunal''s order executed has not been given in the Act. It may be an error or omission or may be deliberate. But because of not having this power we cannot issue a civil contempt to get our orders executed."

    Observing that lack of civil contempt power was hampering the functioning of the tribunal, Justice Mathur said, "The recommendation for necessary amendment in the Act has already been sent to the Government a long time back.

    "The orders are at the mercy of the authorities, if they wish they can execute and if they do not wish, they may not. This is a serious thing which has been already taken up with the government but without any result.

    "We feel helpless that this tribunal cannot come to the rescue of persons despite the orders passed by the tribunal. It is a very strange state of affairs and we are sorry to say that we cannot help the petitioner," he said.

    Dismissing Khan''s plea in absence of contempt power,Justice Mathur allowed his counsel Maj S S Pandey to file a petition before the Supreme Court.

    "We certify that this is the fit case to be taken to the Supreme Court so that proper directions can be given by it to make this tribunal functional and effective," he added.

    Under the Armed Forces Tribunal Act, 2007, powers to prosecute a person for criminal contempt have been given under Section 19. Recommendations for necessary amendment in the Act were sent to the Centre some time back by the tribunal.

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