SC takes serious note of vacancies in CAT

SC takes serious note of vacancies in CAT
Supreme Court of India. File/ GK

New Delhi, May 6: The Supreme Court on Friday took serious note of the fact that six circuit benches of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) have become virtually non-functional due to the retirement of judicial and administrative members saying, with one member you cannot even constitute a bench .

A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Surya Kant agreed to hear a plea filed by the Central Administrative Tribunal (Principal Bench) Bar Association and issued notice to the Centre.

We are issuing notice on this issue. Six benches of CAT including at Jabalpur, Cuttack, Lucknow, Jammu, and Srinagar are left with only one member. With one member, you cannot even constitute a bench also , Justice Chandrachud said.

Justice Surya Kant asked senior advocate Abhaya K Behera, appearing for the bar association, to furnish the details of members whose term is likely to expire in the near future.

The bench said it would take up the matter on May 13 and asked the counsel for the bar association to serve the copy of the petition to the central agency.

The plea filed through advocate Amita Singh Kalkal stated that 35 judicial members including the chairman of the CAT and 35 administrative members cater to the 19 benches and eight circuit benches and due to the retirement of members and non-filling of vacancies so created, many of the benches of these Tribunals have become non-functional.

The aforesaid judicial and administrative members cater to the 19 benches and 8 circuit benches. However, the last advertisement for the appointment of judicial and administrative members was issued in the year 2018 for the vacancies of the calendar year 2018. The vacancies of the calendar year 2019, 2020, 2021, and the current year 2022, have not yet been issued , the plea said.

It said that even though appointments are not taking place yet both judicial and administrative members are retiring at regular intervals.

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