4 Oct 2023 3:59 PM GMT
The Armed Forces Tribunal Chandigarh Bar Association (AFTCBA) has written to Chief Justice Of India DY Chandrachud alleging that Defence Minister has openly admitted interference of the Ministry in the transfer of Judicial Member Justice Dharam Chand Chaudhary, just before he could hear the case of contempt against an officer of Defence Accounts Department.Referring to a video of an...
The Armed Forces Tribunal Chandigarh Bar Association (AFTCBA) has written to Chief Justice Of India DY Chandrachud alleging that Defence Minister has openly admitted interference of the Ministry in the transfer of Judicial Member Justice Dharam Chand Chaudhary, just before he could hear the case of contempt against an officer of Defence Accounts Department.
Referring to a video of an event conducted by the Defence Accounts Department on October 1, the letter states that the Minister is heard saying, "that one cannot keep everybody happy and one of your officers just got saved and escaped."
According to the letter the Minister said, "Accounts Department toh apne aap mein aisa department hota hai jiski zimmedaari lekar aap sabko khush nahi rakh sakte. Koi na koi naaraaz hoga pakki baat hai. Kyonki sansadhan seemit hote hai aur dekhiye aap ke yahan ek adhikari jaate jaate bach gayi."
"A hint was enough regarding this incident, leading to laughter from the audience" states the letter.
The letter further highlights that, "on 04 Aug 2023 as reported in the media and also in an official press release, the Minister also told the Members and the Chairperson of the AFT, there was a need to slow down the disposal and be careful while expediting Judicial process".
This is causing negative impact on the confidence of litigants before the AFT wherein the Defence Ministry is itself advising a Court of Law as to how it is to conduct its litigation, and Members of the said Court dutifully following it, the letter stated.
The Association seeks "effective steps to nip this malaise in the bud by taking cognizance" of the matter.
On September 25, the Bar Association had written to the CJI seeking quashing of the transfer of Justice Chaudhary from the Tribunal. Justice Chaudhary was transferred for allegedly passing strict orders against senior Government officials for non-implementation of AFT judgements.
Earlier in August, the Association had requested CJI D.Y. Chandrachud to take suo moto cognizance of the allegedly "shockingly contemptuous communication" issued by the D(AFT) Cell of the Ministry of Defence to the Principal Bench of AFT on July 28. In the communication, the Defence Secretary is stated to have demanded a report on the recent decisions on pay/pension matters by AFT Chandigarh "with analysis thereof".
Click here ton read/download the letter