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Defence Ministry issues new guidelines on appeal filings in SC

Cracking down on routine filing of appeals in the Supreme Court by Defence Ministry in several cases decided in favour of employees and pensioners, Minister Manohar Parrikar has issued a fresh set of guidelines overhauling the procedure.

The step is likely to bring down grievances of civil and military employees, pensioners and disabled soldiers, since the Ministry was known to litigate till the Supreme Court decided against it.

In the fresh MoD policy, the concern of the Defence Minister over rising litigation in routine matters and those involving meagre financial implications has been noted.

The fresh procedure would now involve the processing of proposals by the Defence Services Headquarters on whether to file an appeal or not. The Joint Secretary concerned would either send the file back for implementation or for the views of Legal Advisor (Defence) if he feels that the case is fit for appeal.

If the Legal Advisor feels that the case is not fit for appeal and the Joint Secretary agrees, then the file would be sent for implementation. In case the Joint Secretary is in favour of filing an appeal, the approval of Additional Secretary would have to be taken.

The policy also states that no appeals would be filed in sensitive matters or those involving public policy unless approved by the Minister.

On implementation, the Ministry is expected to shed the “compulsive litigant” tag, experts said. .

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