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The Air Force Act, 1953

( ACT NO. VI OF 1953 )

Chapter XII

CONFIRMATION AND REVISION

Finding and sentence not valid unless confirmed
151. No finding or sentence of a general, district or field general court-martial shall be valid except so far as it may be confirmed as provided by this Act.
Power to confirm finding and sentence of general court-martial
152. The findings and sentences of general courts-martial may be confirmed by the Chief of Air Staff or by any officer empowered in this behalf by warrant of the Chief of Air Staff.
Power to confirm finding and sentence of district court-martial
153. The findings and sentences of district courts-martial may be confirmed by any authority having power to convene a general court-martial or by any officer empowered in this behalf by warrant of any such authority.
Limitation of powers of confirming authority
154. A warrant issued under section 152 or section 153 may contain such restrictions, reservations or conditions as the authority issuing it may think fit.
Power to confirm finding and sentence of field general court-martial
155. The findings and sentences of a field general court-martial may be confirmed by the convening officer or if he so directs, by an authority superior to him.
Power of confirming authority to mitigate, remit or commute sentences
 
 
156. Subject to such restrictions as may be contained in any warrant issued under section 152 or section 153, a confirming authority may, when confirming the sentence of a court-martial, mitigate or remit the punishment thereby awarded, or commute that punishment for any punishment or punishments lower in the scale laid down in section 73:
 
 
 
 
Provided that a sentence of imprisonment shall not be commuted to a sentence of detention for a term exceeding the term of imprisonment awarded by the court.
Confirmation of finding and sentence on board a ship
157. When any person subject to this Act is tried and sentenced by court-martial while on board ship, the finding and sentence so far as not confirmed and executed on board ship may be confirmed and executed in like manner as if such person had been tried at the port of disembarkation.
Revision of finding and sentence
 
 
158. (1) Any finding or sentence of a court-martial may be once revised by order of the confirming authority; and on such revision, the court, if so directed by the confirming authority, may take additional evidence.
 
 
 
 
(2) The court, on revision, shall consist of the same officers as were present when the original decision was passed, unless any of those officers are unavoidably absent.
 
 
 
 
(3) In case of such unavoidable absence the cause thereof shall be duly recorded in the proceedings, and the court shall proceed with the revision, provided that, if a general court-martial, it still consists of five officers, or, if a field general or district court-martial, of three officers.
Alteration of finding or sentence in certain cases
159. (1) Where a finding of guilty by a court-martial, which has been confirmed, is found for any reason to be invalid or cannot be supported by the evidence, the authority which would have had power under section 177 to commute the punishment awarded by the sentence, if the finding had been valid, may substitute a new finding and pass a sentence for the offence specified or involved in such finding:
 
 
 
 
Provided that no such substitution shall be made unless such finding could have been validly made by the court-martial on the charge and unless it appears that the court-martial must have been satisfied of the facts establishing the offence.
 
 
 
 
(2) Where a sentence passed by a court-martial which has been confirmed, not being a sentence passed in pursuance of a new finding substituted under sub-section (1), is found for any reason to be invalid, the authority referred to in sub-section (1) may pass a valid sentence.
 
 
 
 
(3) The punishment awarded by a sentence passed under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) shall not be higher in the scale of punishments than, or in excess of, the punishment awarded by, the sentence for which a new sentence is substituted under this section.
 
 
 
 
(4) Any finding substituted, or any sentence passed, under this section shall for the purposes of this Act and the rules made thereunder have effect as if it were a finding or sentence of a court-martial.
Remedy against order, finding or sentence of court-martial
160. (1) Any person subject to this Act who considers himself aggrieved by any order passed by a court-martial may present a petition to the officer or authority empowered to confirm any finding or sentence of such court-martial, and the confirming authority may take such steps as may be considered necessary to satisfy itself as to the correctness, legality or propriety of the order passed or as to the regularity of any proceeding to which the order relates.
 
 
(2) Any person subject to this Act who considers himself aggrieved by a finding or sentence of a court-martial which has been confirmed, may present a petition to the Government or the Chief of Air Staff, who may pass such order thereon as it or he thinks fit.
Annulment of proceedings
161. The Government or the Chief of Air Staff may annul the proceedings of any court-martial on the ground that they are illegal or unjust.
Bar of Appeals
162. No court shall question the correctness, legality or propriety of any proceeding or decision of any court-martial, and no remedy shall lie in respect of any such proceeding or decision save as provided in this Act.
 
 
 
 

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Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs