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Rajnath wants judiciary to strike a balance to ease pendency burden

The Defence Minister called “for a balance between ‘justice delayed is justice denied’ and ‘justice hurried is justice buried’ to ease the burden of pendency on the judicial system in general and the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) in particular.”

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, on Saturday, called “for a balance between ‘justice delayed is justice denied’ and ‘justice hurried is justice buried’ to ease the burden of pendency on the judicial system in general and the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) in particular as the timely delivery of justice will not only reduce the burden on AFT but will also reinforce the confidence of our soldiers in the system.”

Singh, who was speaking at a seminar on ‘Introspection: Armed Forces Tribunal’ organised by the Armed Forces Tribunal Principal Bench Bar Association here, said the Central government is committed to making the AFT more empowered and responsive and implement measures that were required in this direction.

He said the judiciary is a strong pillar of democracy, and judicial officers, and lawyers are in turn pillars of this judicial system. He said the people knock on the doors of the judiciary when all other options are closed to them and sound judiciary delivery systems were the basis for ‘Suraaj’ or good governance.

Singh added that domain-specific Tribunals were set up to deal with diverse cases and clear pending cases. He stressed that litigants have trust in our judiciary and whatever measures required were being implemented, such as filling up vacancies in the Tribunals, to expedite the justice delivery process.

He also assured the gathering that the government would consider suggestions that would emerge from the seminar to fulfill the aspirations of ex-Servicemen, and serving personnel for the speedy delivery of justice.

Singh informed the gathering that in India Armed Forces Tribunal has both original and appellate jurisdiction whereas even today in some developed countries such as the USA and the UK they only have appellate jurisdiction. It is very significant as the Armed Forces Tribunal is an important forum for redressal of grievances of armed forces personnel, ex-servicemen, and their families, he said.

Union Minister of Law and Justice Kiren Rijiju also spoke in the seminar stressing that the government was working to reduce the pendency of the cases. He stated that tribunals like the Armed Forces Tribunal were playing a crucial role in reducing the pendency. The Chief of the Army Staff General Manoj Pandey, the Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal V R Chaudhary and Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral R Hari Kumar were present. Justice Rajendra Menon, Chairperson, AFT, delivered the keynote address.