Military justice system: India

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Changes proposed in the Military justice system/ 2016

Changes proposed in the Military justice system/ 2016

Ajay Sura, Military laws' rejig for new-age soldier Nov 28 2016 : The Times of India

MOD Looks At Independent Judges In Forces

At a time when litigation in the country's Armed Forces Tribunal is rising significantly , the defence ministry has decided to end many of the archaic traditions of the military justice system and update statutes.

Sources in the ministry confirmed to TOI that they had “agreed in principle“ to change the existing structure of military laws. This would mean setting up permanent courts to try cases related to military personnel and formulating a common code for all services. There is also a proposal to set up a permanent prosecution department for the forces and introduce a cadre of independent military judges rather than ad hoc juries with members who are not judicially trained.

Decision has been taken after considering the report of the defence minister's committee of experts, which was submitted in November 2015. The service Acts of the Indian military -the Army Act and the Air Force Act -were enacted in 1950. The Navy Act came in 1957. There has been a standing demand for years to update these laws. On several occasions, the Supreme Court has asked the ministry to show restraint while exercising these archaic laws. Most of the military laws, enacted soon after Independence, are modelled on laws that the British left behind. Experts say under this system, an accused soldier doesn't get the minimum degree of decency and fair play during litigation.

See also

Defence services, India: legal and service issues

Military justice system

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