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Let Officers Know their Course Reports AFT

The Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) has asked chiefs of Army, Navy, and Air Force to consider informing officers about course reports of the Defence Services Staff College (DSOC) and Technical Services Staff College (TSOC). The tribunal feels this would help remove apprehensions of injustice among officers. The order is expected to bring in more transparency in the promotion of defence services officers.

The tribunal believes that DSOC and TSOC are important courses which could change the complexion of the career of officers. Informing officers about adverse aspects would help them improve their performance. The tribunal has asked the three service chiefs to ponder over the issue after seeking inputs from commandants of the two staff colleges. The bench, however, clarified that it did not doubt the current system but felt there was always a scope for improvement. It added that it was important for the authorities to weigh the pros and cons.

The principal bench of the AFT comprising its chairperson Justice Virender Singh and administrative member Lt Gen Sanjiv Chachra, passed these orders while examining the case of Lt Col Pankaj Bisht of the Corps of Electronics and Mechanical Engineers (EME). Lt Col Bisht had claimed that he was given low marks by the selection board considering him for the rank of full Colonel because of the remarks in his course report for TSOC. He was stated to have had a “casual report”.

After examining the records of the selection board and the marks allotted to the officer with regard to his comparative merit with other officers in his batch, the bench concluded that such an observation would not have any effect on his promotional prospects. The tribunal observed that the defence services must consider disclosing course reports to officers. Source: The Times of India