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Where to file a case when an armed forces officer is illegally dismissed from the service?

Shivendra Pratap Singh

Advocate (Lucknow)

Online advising since Oct. 2014

Civil Law | Service & Labour

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Question: My younger brother is an officer in the armed forces. He was detailed in the ground duty where some miscreants came in the camp and fought with the jawans. The incident happened when my younger brother had detained a local person for carrying illegal weapon made in Pakistan. That local person was very influential and a lot of people assembled and came to the camp. 

There was no adequate arrangement for tackling this kind of incident. Hence, my brother ordered the jawans to fire on the mob. Resultantly five people died. The chief took the cognisance of this incident and dismissed my brother from his service and sentenced him to jail for two years. I want to challenge this order. Where should I file the case?

Asked from: Punjab

You should file a case (OA- original application) before the Armed Forces Tribunal. The tribunal has the jurisdiction to adjudicate all disputes of officers working in armed forces.   

In L. Chandra Kumar v. Union of India (1997) 3 SCC 261; the hon’ble Supreme Court has held that statutory redressal mechanism cannot be aborted. 

The Armed Forces Tribunal is the Court of first instance to adjudicate service disputes of officers working in armed forces. Hence, you should exhaust the remedy provided under the Armed Forces Tribunal Act 2007.

You cannot file a case directly before the High Court to exercise its writ jurisdiction. Article 226 of the constitution vests writ jurisdiction in the High Court. If you want to challenge the decision of the chief you should file an OA before the tribunal instead of the High Court. 

In absence of the Armed Forces Tribunal ( statutory redressal mechanism) you can move a writ petition directly before the High Court. 

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shivendra pratap singh advocate

Shivendra Pratap Singh

Advocate (Lucknow)

You can consult on Criminal, Civil, Matrimonial, Writ, Service matters, Property, Revenue and RERA related issues.

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