The Supreme Court, while dismissing a plea seeking leave against an order of Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT), observed that such leave can be granted only when there is a point of law of general public importance involved in the appeal.
Section 31 of the Armed Forces Tribunal Act, 2007 provides an appeal to the Supreme Court with the leave of the tribunal and such leave can be granted on the ground "that a point of law of general public importance" or "it appears to the Supreme Court that the point is one which ought to be considered by that Court".
In this case, the tribunal had affirmed the order in District Court Martial Proceedings wherein a punishment of rigorous imprisonment for five months and also an order of dismissal from service were passed against EX. LAC Yogesh Pathania.
The allegation against him was that he misbehaved with the senior officers when they visited Dakota 'A' Block after there was an incident of a verbal fight with use of abusive language between Accounts Conversion Course trainees and Module II airmen trainees in the TV room over the change of TV channel.
The bench comprising Justice Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud and Justice Hemant Gupta observed that view taken by the tribunal is a plausible view and therefore does not warrant any interference in an appeal under Sections 30 and 31 of the Act.
Referring to the provisions of the Act, the bench further added: "In terms of Section 31 of the Act, an appeal to this Court is maintainable with the leave of the Tribunal and such leave can be granted on the ground "that a point of law of general public importance" or "it appears to the Supreme Court that the point is one which ought to be considered by that Court". The point on which this Court will exercise jurisdiction is a point of law of general public importance. We do not find that any point of law of general public importance is involved which may warrant grant of leave to the appellant."