Sacking of soldier for taking unauthorised leave not harsh, says Supreme Court

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  1. Recently,Supreme Court in one of its judgement has held that dismissal of a soldier for taking unauthorised leave is not a harsh move.
  2. This judgement comes in the backdrop of soldier who was dismissed for his unauthorized absence over a period of 302 days. The recent SC judgement sets aside a 2015 decision of the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) which had said that the punishment was harsh and disproportionate.
  3. Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) is an Indian military tribunal established in 2009 under the Armed Forces Tribunal Act, 2007.Its Principal Bench is in New Delhi.It also has 11 regional benches.
  4. It’s objective is to adjudicate complaints wrt appointments and conditions of service in respect of persons subject to the (a)Army Act,1950 (b)The Navy Act,1957 and (c)the Air Force Act,1950.It can further provide for appeals arising out of orders of courts martial held under the above-mentioned Acts.
  5. The Composition of Armed forces Tribunal consists of Judicial Members who are retired High Court Judges. Administrative Members are retired Members of the Armed Forces who have held rank of Major General/ equivalent or above for a period of three years or more.
  6. Proceedings are conducted as per the Armed Forces Tribunal (Procedure) rules,2008.The Tribunal normally follows the procedure as practiced by High Courts of India.Paramilitary forces including the Assam Rifles and Coast Guard are outside the tribunal’s purview.