New legislation provides for bail to armed forces personnel

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New Delhi, Nov 8 (UNI) The Union Cabinet today cleared the proposal for making some amendments to the Armed Forces Tribunal Bill, 2005, aimed at making adjudication by the judicial body more effective and transparent.

The Bill is at present pending in the Rajya Sabha. After the legislation is passed by Parliament, more than 9000 cases relating to armed forces personnel pending in High Courts will be transferred to the tribunal.

Under the amended law, accused personnel can apply for bail whereas in the existing judicial system of the armed forces there is no such provision.

The Tribunal will not entertain appeals relating to transfers, postings and leave. Matters relating to withdrawal of Presidential pleasure in appointment made by the Supreme Commander of Armed Forces will also not go to the Tribunal.

The cases relating to armed forces in the Supreme Court will not be affected by the amended lagislation as the Tribunal was equivalent to a high court.

The proposed amendments address the major concerns, which emerged during deliberations on the draft bill by the Standing Committee of Parliament on Defence, Finance Minister P Chidambaram told newspersons here after a Cabinet meeting.


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