Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice Tirath Singh Thakur inaugurated the Chandigarh Bench of the Armed Forces Tribunal at a function held at Maneckshaw Auditorium in Chandimandir Cantonment near here on Saturday.

The function was presided over by Justice Ashoke Kumar Mathur, Chairperson of the Armed Forces Tribunal and former Judge of the Supreme court of India, and attended by senior civil and police officers and a large number of serving and retired personnel of the armed forces.

To fulfil the longstanding need of dispensing speedy justice to the armed forces personnel, Parliament passed the Bill to establish the Armed Forces Tribunal in July 2007. The AFT Act, 2007, came into effect on June 15, 2008, and the tribunal was inaugurated by President Pratibha Patil in August this year.

The Tribunal has 15 courts, three each at the Principal Bench in Delhi, regional benches in Chandigarh and Lucknow and one each in Jaipur, Mumbai, Chennai, Kochi, Kolkata and Guwahati.

Present members of the Chandigarh Bench include Justice Ghanshyam Prasad , former Judge of the Patna High Court, Lt-Gen A.S. Bahia, former Director-General Military Operations and Quarter Master General, Lt-Gen H. S. Panag, Former GOC-in-C of Northern and Central Commands, and Lt-Gen N. S. Brar, former Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff. Two more retired High Court judges will be appointed in due course and its geographic jurisdiction will extend to Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir.