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Rajya Sabha passes Inter-Services Organisation (Command, Control & Discipline) Bill – 2023

Newdelhi:8/8/23:The Rajya Sabha, on August 08, 2023, passed the Inter-Services Organisation (Command, Control & Discipline) Bill – 2023. It was passed by the Lok Sabha on August 04, 2023. The bill seeks to empower Commander-in-Chief and Officer-in Command of Inter-Services Organisations (ISOs) with all disciplinary and administrative powers in respect of the personnel serving in or attached to such organisations.

Initiating the bill in the Upper House, Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh described the bill as necessary to strengthen the Armed Forces in view of the global security scenario, emphasising that only through better jointness and integration can the military move forward towards securing national interests. The bill will ensure better coordination among the three services and bolster the integrated structure, he said, assuring the House that it will prove to be a milestone in the path to India’s military reforms.

The Raksha Mantri pointed out that today’s warfare is no longer conventional, but has become technology and network centric, which makes it even more important for the three Services to work with greater coordination to face future challenges faced by the country.

About ISO Bill – 2023

Currently, the Armed Forces personnel are governed in accordance with the provisions contained in their specific Service Acts – Army Act 1950, Navy Act 1957 and Air Force Act 1950. The enactment of the Bill will have various tangible benefits such as maintenance of effective discipline in inter-services establishments by the Heads of ISOs, no requirement of reverting personnel under disciplinary proceedings to their parent Service units, expeditious disposal of cases of misdemeanour or indiscipline and saving of public money & time by avoiding multiple proceedings.

The Bill would also pave the way for much greater integration and jointness amongst the three Services; lay a strong foundation for creation of Joint Structures in times to come and further improve the functioning of the Armed Forces.

Salient Features

  • The ‘ISO Bill- 2023’ shall be applicable to all personnel of regular Army, Navy and Air force, and to persons of other forces as notified by the Central Government, who are serving in or attached to an Inter-Services Organisation.
  • This Bill empowers the Commander-in-Chief, Officer-in-Command or any other officer specially empowered in this behalf by the Central Government with all the disciplinary and administrative powers in respect of personnel serving in or attached to their Inter-Services Organisations for the maintenance of discipline and proper discharge of their duties, irrespective of the service to which they belong to.
  • The Commander-in-Chief or the Officer-in-Command means General Officer/Flag Officer/Air Officer who has been appointed as Commander-in-Chief of Officer-in-Command an Inter-Services Organisation.
  • To maintain Command and Control in absence of the Commander-in-Chief or the Officer-in-Command, the officiating incumbent or the officer on whom the command develops in absence of a C-in-C or Oi/C, will also be empowered to initiate all disciplinary or administrative actions overs the service personnel, appointed, deputed, posted or attached to an Inter-Services organisation.
  • The Bill also empowers the Commanding Officer of an Inter-Services organisation to initiate all disciplinary or administrative actions over the personnel appointed, deputed, posted or attached to that Inter-Services Organisation. For the purpose of this Act, Commanding Officer means the officer in actual command of the unit, ship or establishment.
  • The Bill empowers the Central Government to constitute an Inter-Services Organisation.

The ‘ISO Bill-2023’ is essentially an Enabling Act and it does not propose any change in the existing Service Acts/Rules/Regulations which are time-tested and have withstood judicial scrutiny over the last six decades or more. Service personnel when serving in or attached to an Inter-Services Organisation will continue to be governed by their respective Service Acts. What it does is to empower Heads of Inter-Services Organisations to exercise all the disciplinary and administrative powers as per the existing Service Acts/Rules/Regulations, irrespective of the service they belong to.

About Editor in chief

Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.

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