AFT says it can’t interfere in selection criteria of higher command courses | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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AFT says it can’t interfere in selection criteria of higher command courses

The principal bench of the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT), New Delhi, has ruled that the policies for regulating selection of the candidates for higher command courses cannot be subject to judicial review unless they violate the fundamental rights of a person or any provisions of the statute.

chandigarh Updated: Mar 16, 2015 09:03 IST
HT Correspondent

The principal bench of the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT), New Delhi, has ruled that the policies for regulating selection of the candidates for higher command courses cannot be subject to judicial review unless they violate the fundamental rights of a person or any provisions of the statute.


While dismissing a petition by Col AK Singh, who had challenged the change in criteria, which excluded gallantry awards for the purpose of selection to higher command courses in a new policy made effective in 2014, the bench ruled, “Matters affecting the policy should be left for decision to those qualified to address the issue. The power of judicial review of a policy involved is limited. In all matters affecting policy and requiring technical expertise, the court will leave the matter for decision of those who are qualified to address the issue. Unless the policy or action is inconsistent with the Constitution and the laws or is arbitrary or irrational or abuse of power, the court will not interfere in such matters.”

The higher command courses aim to train nominated officers for holding higher command and senior staff appointments and prepare them in concepts and techniques required for efficient management during war and peace. These courses create a select pool of officers and act as a reservoir for selection of all future higher military commanders who should be capable to lead at higher level in the Army.

From 1997, the criteria for nomination have been changed five times.

On the exclusion of field service from weightage in the criteria, the court commented that officers with high-service profile might not get a chance to be posted in a field area. “Therefore, they would be put into a disadvantageous position for not getting nominated to the higher command course for reasons which were beyond their control,” said the judgment.