07 May, 2021

A Just Wind Is Blowing

The defence minister wants a soldier-friendly system. A panel tells him to begin by overhauling courts martial.

A Just Wind Is Blowing
  • Looking Within: A committee reporting to the defence minister has suggested far-reaching changes for the armed forces
  • Tilt The Scales: Chief among its ­recommendations is a complete overhaul of the military justice system
  • Going Easy: It also wants the defence ministry to become less litigious and not take an obdurate attitude towards soldiers


In July, defence minister Manohar Parrikar set up a committee with an unusual brief. Former servi­ces officers all, the members were told to shed their baggage and take a hard look at grievance red­ressal, pension-related matters and service-related litigation—all of which have taken adversarial tones in recent years. Parrikar wanted suggestions on institutional mechanisms that would bridge the gap between the ministry and the soldier.

The committee, too, has stayed true to its brief and made observations that are staggering, coming as they do...

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