Now Premature Retirment of Army JCOs OR become Easy – AFT Orders

Now Premature Retirment of Army JCOs OR become Easy - AFT Orders

Can’t deny right to premature release from military service on certain grounds – says Armed Forces Tribunal

The Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) has clarified that when an individual join Armed Forces in any rank, they have to sign a contract not to leave before a certain period but once they join the services, they are governed by service rules and regulations and cannot be denied statutory right of premature release from forces on certain grounds. The tribunal has passed these orders while directing the Indian Army authorities to re-consider the request of a soldier of Army Medical Corps (AMC), whose application of premature release from the forces was rejected on the gro-und that he is bound by the cont-ract he had signed at the time of en-rolment. This information has been published in the News clips of Times of India.

Another argument to deny his plea was deficiency of personnel on account of the shortage of staff due to the situation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The military authorities also claimed that there are restrictions on premature discharge of soldiers till June 2024. The tribunal, however, has directed the authorities to consider application for premature release con oubt, it was a contract at that point of time but once an individual joins service, he is governed by service rules and regulations.

In the relevant service rules, there is provision for voluntary retirement or premature discharge on stated grounds. Therefore, the applicant cannot be kept away from the statutory rights…” AFT bench
sidering all aspects of the matter, including improved Covid-19 pandemic situation and recommencement of recruitment in the Army, A division bench, comprising Justice Anil Kumar (judicial member) and Vice Admiral Atul Kumar Jain (administrative member) of AFT Lucknow bench passed these orders while disposing of a petition filed by Havildar (driver) Y Ranawago, presently posted in Belgaum, Karnataka.

The applicant was enrolled in the Army (AMC) in December 2004 and he applied for Premature rele-
ase from the Army in 2021, citing various medical ailments suffered by his family members. He wanted premature release on the ground that he was facing challenges and perils of his domestic and personal life while performing his duties in the Army. Opposing his plea, the military authorities submitted that appli-cant had signed a contract for 20 years of colour service and three years of reserve liabilities as per terms of engagement contained in the enrolment form signed by him at the time of enrolment in the Army and his present term of service/engagement in the rank of Havildar is up to December 31, 2028.

“Keeping in view the deficien-cy in corps manpower and limitations imposed by the competent authority on premature retire-ment, it will not be feasible to con-sider premature retirement of the applicant,” the Army authorities argued. After hearing all the parties, the AFT ordered the Army authorities to reconsider his plea for grant of premature discharge on compassionate grounds, especially keeping in view ill-health of members of his joint family.

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