Parliament on Tuesday passed Inter-Services Organisation (Command, Control & Discipline) Bill – 2023, with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh saying that the legislation would prove a “milestone towards military reforms” and “strengthen armed forces” in view of the global security scenario. The bill seeks to empower Commander-in-Chief and Officer-in Command of Inter-Services Organisations (ISOs) with all disciplinary and administrative powers over personnel serving or attached to such organisations.

Initiating the Bill in the Rajya Sabha before it was passed, Singh emphasised that only through better jointness and integration can the military move forward towards securing national interests, the Ministry of Defence stated. “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.

‘Network centric’

The Defence Minister 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.

As of now, 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 Defence Minister stated.

On August 4, the Lok Sabha cleared the Bill for placing it before the upper house.