There is a controversy going on. This controversy is over the transfer of Justice Dharam Chand Chaudhary from the Armed Forces Tribunal Chandigarh bench to Kolkata bench. Now what is the Armed Forces Tribunal? AFT which stands for Armed Forces Tribunal is a judicial body responsible for adjudicating service matters related to the armed forces in India The ongoing controversy over the transfer of Justice Dharam Chand Chaudhary of the Chandigarh Bench of AFT ,has taken a turn with the AFT Chandigarh Bench Bar Association claiming to have proof of direct interference of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in the AFT’s functioning. The AFT Chandigarh Bench Bar Association has alleged that there is direct interference of the Ministry of Defence in the transfer of Justice Dharam Chand Chaudhary. The bar bench, in a letter to the Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, has alleged that the defence minister openly admitted the interference of the ministry in the matter of transfer of judicial members just before Justice Chaudhary could hear the case. Justice Dharam Chand Chaudhary, the senior-most Judicial Member of the AFT’s Chandigarh Bench, was transferred to the Kolkata Bench “for administrative reasons in public interest” on September 25. AFT bar association in the letter to the CJI has alleged that Justice Chaudhary’s transfer was a result of the strict orders passed by him against senior officials of the Ministry of Defence. They have asked the Chief Justice to cancel Justice Chaudhary’s transfer. The bench bar association has alleged that this transfer of Justice Chaudhary comes “a day prior to the date of contempt hearings in the court to save an officer in the defence department. The bench bar further alleged that the Chairperson who made this transfer of Justice, has now transferred the contempt application to himself. The letter reads, “It is now highly regretted to inform you that a video clip which has gone viral on social media of an event conducted by the Defence Account Department on 01 Oct 2023 shows the Hon’ble Defence Minister, (Raksh Mantri) openly admitting the interference of the Ministry in the matter of th transfer of the Judicial Member just before he could hear the case of contempt wherein he is openly heard saying “” that one cannot keep everybody happy and one of your officers just got saved and escaped.” And further adding that a hint was enough regarding this incident, leading to laughter from the audience, which shockingly included the same contemnor he was referring to.” The AFT Chandigarh Bench Bar, has also made it clear that they are not questioning the integrity of the Defence Minister or Defence Secretary. But they are pointing out how they are being misguided by Ministry of Defence officials.
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