Armed Forces Tribunal
Case BriefsTribunals/Commissions/Regulatory Bodies

Armed Forces Tribunal: The Division Bench of Justice Umesh Chandra Srivastava and Vice Admiral Abhay Raghunath Karve, Member (A) slammed the Union of India opining that gross injustice done to the applicant was a case of mind set and adhering to old junk system. Opining that it requires interference by administration of justice so that one has to obey and respect law, the Bench remarked,

“It is a matter of great surprise that 23 years have elapsed but order of High Court Allahabad has not yet been complied with and respondents are stating that compliance of order is in process.”

Brief facts of the case were that the applicant’s husband was enrolled in the army on 15-12-1971 and dismissed from service on 22-11-1986, after completing about 14 years and 11 months of service. Noticeably, on 03-02-1985 the husband of the applicant had written a to Defence Secretary, Chief of Army Staff and GOC-in C, Southern Command containing allegation against his Squadron Commander. The matter was investigated and disciplinary action was taken against her husband for direct writing to superior officers.

The applicant’s husband was tried by District Court Martial (DCM) for an offence under Army Act Section 56 (a); i.e. making a false accusation. Consequently, he was punished and was dismissed from service.

The husband of the applicant preferred appeal before the Allahabad High Court which was allowed His appeal was allowed vide order dated 27.07.1998 and order of punishment awarded by DCM was quashed and respondents were directed to reinstate husband of the applicant in service and treat him in continuous service with all service benefits including increment and promotion as per relevant rules.

The grievance of the applicant was that instead of complying with the decision of the High Court, the respondents had filed an appeal on 18-11-1998 against the judgment which was dismissed on 08-07-2010. During pendency of the appeal, husband of the applicant died on 31-01-2002. The applicant contended that though there was no any stay against the order of High Court, the same was not complied with.

Noticing that the High Court had passed detailed order in favour of the husband of the applicant granting all service benefits including promotion and pay and allowance and that the appeal against the order was dismissed in the year 2010, the Bench opined that the respondents should have immediately reinstate the husband of the applicant in service and grant his dues.

The public interest demands that administration must abide by the promises held out to citizens. It is totally immoral to go back from the promises held out by the mighty state to the detriment of a small people.

Considering that the husband of the applicant died during pendency of the matter and applicant suffered mental pain and agony for more than 34 years and had to enter in unnecessarily litigation even after her case was decided by the High Court, the Bench imposed exemplary cost of Rs. 75,000 on the respondents for not implementing the order of the High Court for about 23 years.

Accordingly, the respondents were directed to grant all service benefits as applicable to the husband of the applicant in terms of order of the High Court Allahabad along with arrears and further grant family pension to the applicant from the next date of death of her husband within four months. Interest at the rate of 8% was also awarded on the amount accrued from due date till the date of actual payment. [Gulkandi Devi v. Union of India, Original Application No. 605 of 2018, decided on 13-10-2021]

Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Appearance by:

For the Applicant: Advocate Birendra Prasad Singh

For Union of India: Central Govt. Counsel RC Shukla

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: Dismissing the petition seeking a writ of mandamus or any other writ or direction of similar nature to constitute a Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by a retired Chief Justice of India to investigate in the matter of alleged conspiracy and payment of bribes for procuring favourable order in a matter relating to Medical admissions, the 3-judge bench of RK Agarwal, Arun Mishra and AM Khanwilkar, JJ imposed the cost of Rs. 25 lakhs on the petitioner i.e. Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms (CJAR) represented by Advocate Prashant Bhushan and directed that the sum be deposited before the Registry of this Court within six weeks whereafter the said amount shall be transferred to Supreme Court Bar Association Advocates’ Welfare Fund.

Prashant Bhushan had submitted before the Court that the purpose of filing this petition is not to name any Judge of this Court but to protect the independence of the judiciary and in order to arrive at an impartial investigation, this Court may appoint a SIT headed by a retired Chief Justice of India. He had brought to the Court’s notice that in the FIR names of various persons have been mentioned as suspected accused along with other unknown public servants and private persons and that one does not know how many public and private persons are involved in it and the matter relates to huge gratification for inducing public servants in a matter pending before this Court.

Attoney General KK Venugopal, on the other hand, said that the present petition was an abuse of the process of court as the same bench had recently dismissed the petition filed on the same premise by advocate Kamini Jaiswal.

The Court, calling the petition wholly frivolous, contemptuous and unwarranted, said that the petition:

“aims at scandalizing the highest judicial system of the country, without any reasonable basis and filed in an irresponsible manner, that too by a body of persons professing to espouse the cause of accountability.”

The Court, hence, dismissed the petition with exemplary costs on CJAR in order to ensure that such attempt is not repeated in future. [Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms v. Union of India,  2017 SCC OnLine SC 1406, decided on 01.12.2017]