Minutes of TSEWA Core Committee Meeting held at 0930 hrs on 07 Nov 2019 at 143, Vayupuri, Secunderabad
The following members attended:-
- Brig CS Vidyasagar President in Chair
- Cmde Sudheer Parakala Vice President
- Col Dr GB Sethi General Secretary
- Gp Capt CRR Sastry Joint Secretary
- Hony Capt B Joseph Joint Secretary
- Hony Capt MN Reddy President Telangana
- Cdr Chandra Shekhar Member
- Col MJ Ganapathy Member
- Col N Sitaramaiah Member
- Maj B Bikshapathy Member
- Col K Bhaskar Reddy Member
- Mrs Rekha Sekhri Administrator,TSEWA Blog
- Lt Col Ravi Chowdary in Attendance
- Lt Col R R Sekhri in Attendance
The President welcomed all present and thanked them for their efforts to attend the meeting. He requested the EC and Core Committee members to spare a few hours on Wednesday to attend this meeting. He requested the General Secretary to commence the proceedings.
Points from General Secretary
Item I. National Executive Committee (NEC) Meeting for Quarter ending Dec 2019. General Secretary informed that the NEC Meeting for Quarter ending Dec 2019 is due to be held and proposed that the meeting be held on 22 December 2019, the fourth Sunday of December. There was no objection from any members present and hence the date was finalised. The house requested the General Secretary that a notice be issued for the meeting.
Action. General Secretary Info. All NEC Members.
Item II. Slow Progress in Disposal of Legal Cases. General Secretary lamented that there is undue delay in disposal of cases under hearing by the AFT. He gave the example of Hony Nb Subedar’s Case in which arguments were closed a year ago but still Judgment is not yet delivered. Similar situation in the AFT – 1, where the judgment was reserved more than a year back and yet no judgment has come out. The Members also expressed serious concern on the situation and said that our Advocates should file necessary applications deemed suitable to expedite disposal of these cases. Gp Capt CRR Sastry informed that the dysfunctional state of Armed Forces Tribunal Benches at Delhi and other Stations is the main cause of the delay. However, the Advocates have very limited role in expediting the disposal of these cases. None the less, we will request the Advocates to make all possible efforts to facilitate early disposal of cases. The modalities can be discussed in the forthcoming NEC Meeting in December 2019.
Action. Gp Capt CRR Sastry Info. All
Item III. Delay in Filing of Cases awaiting Filing. The General Secretary informed that TSEWA is facing serious criticism from petitioners about the serious delay in filing of cases whose documents and brief have been handed over to Advocates long time back. There was extensive discussion in the matter and members expressed their views. Members felt that we should exert more pressure on our Advocates to hasten the filing of the cases failing which TSEWA will lose its credibility among its members. Such a situation will be highly detrimental to the growth and good name of our organisation. Gp Capt CRR Sastry said that the delay in filing of cases can be due to a variety of reasons like:
- Defects in Documents. In many cases, the Registry or the bench of AFT demand rectification of documents or demand some additional documents. The rectification or submission of additional documentation is often delayed due to non- action by many members. This is because, the members do not peruse the mails/ messages/ blog posts requesting action in the matter.
- Delay in Filing Applications due to other causes. The delay is caused due to dysfunctional state of the Benches of AFT, non-acceptance of Joint Applications and insisting on filing individual cases where the Application is made to assail an unjust policy laid down by the Ministry or a flawed interpretation of a policy by its subordinate or attached departments.
In view of the undue delay in disposal of cases already filed and substantial delay experienced in filing new applications, Gp Capt CRR Sastry felt that TSEWA can not continue the activity of facilitating the filing of joint applications any longer. He also said that a thorough review of all pending matters filing of OAs is still awaited is to be done and the matters which can be dropped with reasons to be cited, should be identified. Matters in which some additional documents were called for and only few have responded should also be identified and Advocates be requested to file applications in respect of those who have responded. It was also proposed that all cases under the scrutiny of TSEWA be dropped and the legal fee deposited by members be returned to them. To get a clear picture of the situation, he proposed that the matter be studied by him in conjunction with Lt Col N Ravi Chowdary to identify the cases which should be filed and cases which should be closed. The possible financial out go in each case would also be ascertained and a detailed report with recommendations for consideration shall be put up to NEC. Col Sitaramaiah said that since the Core Committee has been deciding on cases to be filed, we should not wait for the decision of NEC in the matter as it is likely to delay the action. Gp Capt CRR Sastry said that since Core Committee is a committee appointed by the NEC, every decision of Core Committee needs ratification of NEC. As the proposed action in the Legal cases has far reaching consequences, it will be appropriate that the matter be decided by the NEC on recommendations of Core Committee. This was approved by the house.
Action. Gp Capt CRR Sastry& Col Ravi Chowdary Info. All
Item IV. Dysfunctional Status. The General Secretary informed that the dysfunctional state of AFT seems to be the root cause of delay in disposal and filing of cases of Applications. During the discussion, the members said that we should file our cases in High Courts citing the dysfunctional state of AFTs. Gp Capt CRR Sastry said that such cases will not be admitted by the High Courts as the jurisdiction of High Courts in the matters that fall within the jurisdiction of AFTs has been excluded by the act of Parliament when AFTs were created. A suggestion was made that all our cases should be filed in the Supreme Court, but it was felt that Hon’ble Supreme Court will entertain our cases refusing to become a trial court. Another suggestion was that we should file a PIL seeking a direction to the Central Government for transferring the Administrative Control of AFTs from Ministry of Defence to Ministry of Law; provide for Civil Contempt powers and make appointments of Members of AFT well before the term of existing members comes to an end and fill the vacancies in a time bound manner. Gp Capt CRR Sastry said that the feasibility of such PIL can be considered by an Advocate in Delhi and on receiving the advice in the matter, the NEC or CC may decide on the issue.
Item V. Finalising the Agenda for NEC. The General Secretary informed that there is a need for NEC to discuss the matters dealt in Items II, III, and IV and hence these items should be included in the Agenda suitably. He asked Gp Capt CRR Sastry to finalise the Agenda points accordingly.
Action. Gp Capt CRR Sastry Info. All
There being no further points the meeting was closed at 11.30 am.
Brig CS Vidyasagar (Retd)