Pension not paid, AFT gears up to attach MoD’s property
Coming to rescue of differently abled
- The AFT had ruled in favour of the soldiers, but the orders were not implemented by the MoD
- The tribunal has now issued a show-cause notice to the Ministry of Defence
- It has asked why its property should not be auctioned to pay disability pension to soldiers
Vijay Mohan, Tribune News Service, Chandigarh, July 10
The Chandigarh Bench of the Armed Forces Tribunal has issued a show-cause notice to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) as to why property of the Defence Accounts Department’s office should not be attached and auctioned on July 15 to pay disability pension to soldiers.
The tribunal had passed judgements in favour of the soldiers, but were not implemented by the MoD even in cases where implementation had been directed by the Supreme Court in a time-bound manner.
Making it clear to the MoD that non-implementation would not be acceptable, a bench comprising Justice SS Thakur and Lt Gen DS Sidhu passed the directions with respect to two official staff vehicles of the Defence Accounts Department in Chandigarh.
Veterans have long rued non-implementation of orders passed in their favour by the AFT whereas no such problems were faced earlier in judgements rendered by the High Court.
The Kerala High Court and the Punjab and Haryana High Court had made it clear that non-implementation of AFT orders amounted to criminal contempt and that the AFT could invoke the execution provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure (CPC) to give effect to its orders. The CPC provides for both arrest as well as attachment of properties in order to give effect to judicial orders.
When the AFT did not take coercive action against MoD even after High Court directions, another writ was filed in the Punjab and Haryana High Court praying for directions to the tribunal to take action against the government for ensuring compliance. It averred that “keeping the implementation of judicial orders in suspended animation is an affront to the majesty of law in a democracy which the AFT was duty-bound to protect and was also against the grain of judicial dignity as laid down by the Supreme Court”.
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