Statutory Law: Processing of Statutory Complaints of Indian Air Force Personnel Under Air Force Act 1950
Air Force personnel are subject to two sets of statutory codes. These are the Air Force act 1950 and the law of the land. As a consequence the Air Force act 1950 lays down a procedure where in the statutory complaints of personnel subject to Air Force act can be speedily redressed. The relevant sections that deal with statutory complaints of air force personnel are section 26, 27 and 161. These sections provide for a procedure that must be followed when an aggrieved person subject to the act feels he has been denied a service privilege or wrong.
The procedure for redress is further amplified in Para 621(o) and Para 622 (n) of the Regulations of the Air force 1964(Revised Edition). These regulations specify that a statutory complaint should reach the competent authority within 45 days of its submission. No intermediate authority will hold up the application for more than 10 days.
The Regulations clearly lay down that in case any delay is envisaged at any level a delay report indicating the reasons will be forwarded to the next higher authority. Command Headquarters and units under Air Head quarters will forward these representations within 30 days of their submission with Para wise comments and recommendations to the next superior authority.
All redress of grievance (ROG) applications will be addressed to the Commanding Officer (CO), even if it is an application against the Commanding Officer himself. The CO will try and redress the ROG. In case the same is not redressed or is beyond the scope of the Commanding Officer he will forward it to the next superior authority with his comments. At each stage it will be ensured that not more than 10 days are taken up to redress the ROG. The entire ROG is to be redressed within 45 days of handing over to the CO.
Section 26 of the AF Act 1950 lays down the procedure for aggrieved airmen below officer rank and section 27 lays down the procedure for officers. The act specifies that an airman or officer can submit an ROG to his CO and as per section 26(5) and section 27 the application will go through the Chief of Air Staff to the Central Government which may at its discretion modify the award by the CAS, in case the aggrieved air man or officer is not satisfied with the decision.
The ROG is also available to an officer or airman who is convicted by a court martial. Under section 161 the aggrieved officer or airman can apply to the Central Government against the decision of the court martial. The Army act 1950 and the Navy act 1950 have provisos similar to the AF act 1950 for disposal of ROG applications.
Similar provisions are incorporated in the Navy and Army act 1950 for aggrieved sailors and soldiers.