The government is mulling creation of the first-ever tribunal for nearly 8 lakh paramilitary forces personnel in order to provide them an exclusive forum for legal adjudication on service issues, like the Armed Forces Tribunal.
Officials said the proposal was recently discussed during a high-level meeting of senior Home Ministry officials and top brass of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) as part of ensuring timely justice to these personnel who work under strict laws and rules of their respective forces.
They said the idea has gained currency with the top security establishment after recent incidents of jawans taking to social media to air their grievances against their immediate superiors were reported and the forces have made it clear that any breach of discipline will be strictly dealt with.
The meeting was also told that jawans and senior officers have also brought a number of complaints to the notice of the headquarters of forces like CRPF, BSF, ITBP, CISF, SSB and NSG stating that they were either handed down unfair punishment at times or that the action against them was “bad in law”.
They added the central government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi is mulling to create this first-ever legal redressal mechanism for these forces keeping in mind their rapid expansion and increase in the variety of roles being rendered.
Also, they said, the proposed tribunal would work to lessen the burden on regular courts before which, at present, appeals are made by these men and women in uniform once they are are dissatisfied with the orders issued by their staff courts (force courts).
“Keeping all this in mind, it was proposed that the government can create a CAPFs tribunal on the lines of the Armed Forces Tribunal.
“It will also act as a big assurance to the jawans and officers of these forces that they will have a quick redressal of their grievances in a court of law created especially for them,” a senior officer privy to the development told PTI.
The Armed Force Tribunal (AFT), for the personnel of the three defence forces – army, air force and navy – was brought in 2007 to adjudicate “disputes and complaints with respect to commission, appointments, enrolments and conditions of service”. .