SC endorses AFT setting up circuit bench in Odisha

The approval came on Friday after taking on record the submissions on behalf of AFT while hearing a petition filed by Indian Ex-Services League (Odisha) and others.
 Supreme Court of India.
Supreme Court of India.(Photo | PTI)

CUTTACK: The Supreme Court of India has endorsed establishment of a circuit bench of the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) in Odisha under the regional bench in Kolkata.

The approval came on Friday after taking on record the submissions on behalf of AFT while hearing a petition filed by Indian Ex-Services League (Odisha) and others.

According to the Supreme Court’s May 17 order, the grievance of the petitioners was that in the absence of a regular regional bench or in the alternative, a permanent circuit bench of the AFT in the state of Odisha, hardship is caused to the litigants.

“Senior advocate R Balasubramanian appearing on behalf of the chairman AFT stated that only about 170 cases involving the geographic al location in question are pending and hence, it would not be feasible to set up a permanent bench in the state of Odisha. However, the view of the chairperson is that an AFT circuit bench can be established in the state of Odisha which would be looked after by the regional bench at Kolkata. For this purpose, it was indicated that the chairperson would be addressing a communication to the Union government to facilitate all steps being taken in that regard, including for the purpose of earmarking court rooms, allocation of necessary staff and ancillary facilities,” the order stated.

The three-judge bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice JB Pardiwala, and Justice Manoj Mishra said, “Once the communication is addressed by the chairperson of the AFT to the Union government, necessary action in that regard shall be taken expeditiously within a period of three months from the date of the receipt of the communication.”

The chairperson of the AFT shall take necessary steps to ensure that e-filing facilities are made available at the principal bench and at the regional benches expeditiously within a period of three months, the court also ordered while disposing of the petition on Friday.

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