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Lok Sabha nod to inter-services organisations Bill

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NEW DELHI, Aug 4 (PTI): The Lok Sabha on Friday approved a Bill which seeks to empower the commander-in-chief and officer-in-command of inter-services organisations with disciplinary and administrative powers over personnel from other forces serving in such establishments.

Moving the Bill for consideration and passage, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said the Inter-Services Organisations (Command, Control and Discipline) Bill is part of a series of steps being taken by the government to strengthen the armed forces.

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Amid slogan shouting by opposition members who were also displaying placards, Singh took the permission of the Chair to speak from one of the seats in the back benches.

A parliamentary panel had recently recommended that the Bill be passed without any amendments.

In his brief remarks, Singh said that as of now, personnel of the Army, Navy and the Air Force are governed in accordance with the provisions contained in their specific service Acts — the Army Act, 1950, the Navy Act, 1957, and the Air Force Act, 1950.

At the time of enactment of these respective Acts, most of the service organisations were largely comprised of personnel from a single service — either Army, Navy or Air Force. However, now there are numerous inter-services organisations where personnel of the armed forces and other forces serve together.

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Currently, the commander-in-chief or officer-in-command of the inter-services organisations is not empowered to exercise disciplinary or administrative powers over the personnel belonging to other services.

Only officers of the respective services are empowered to exercise disciplinary powers over the service personnel under their respective Service Acts, the minister noted.

The officers serving in these organisations need to be reverted to their respective parent service units for exercising any disciplinary or administrative action which results in delays.

The Bill was later passed after a brief discussion.

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