The Jammu and Kashmir High Court sought for Centre’s response on current status of Armed Forces Tribunal located in Jammu.
The bench made this direction in furtherance of a plea filed by ex-army personnel Mohd Rafiq Malik who filed a complaint regarding non-functioning of the tribunal since the pandemic had hit India. He contended that non-functioning of tribunal denied access to justice to many.
The bench gave direction to Additional Solicitor General to file a counter affidavit in four weeks’ and report the current status of the tribunal.
The counsel on behalf of petitioner stated that not even virtual hearings are being conducted through video conferencing, which is even more convenient for the residents of Jammu.
The petitioner has been aggrieved due to the non-functioning of Tribunal as his matter has been pending in the tribunal. He had been dismissed from the armed services based on allegations that he performed second marriage during the subsistence of first one.
The petitioner had been dismissed from the services in 2010. He submitted that after complying with the divorce proceedings, he performed second marriage.
The petitioner also stated that he had registered the divorce with a Molvi and thus the order of his dismissal is not only baseless and illegal but also against the provision of Army Act and Rules (Rules 22-23 and 180).
The petitioner submitted that his plea challenging the wrongful termination had been transferred to Armed Forces Tribunal from the High Court in the year 2016 and the same is pending till date.
The petitioner also submitted that his case has not been listed after the pandemic. The High Court then directed the Centre to file its response on the next hearing which has been listed on March 30, 2021.