The Central Administrative Tribunal, New Delhi
The Central Administrative Tribunal, New Delhi
Litigation News

Advocates allowed to apply for appointment as CAT member: Madras HC grants interim relief on plea challenging 2020 Tribunal Rules

"...the participation of the Advocates so permitted will not create any right in their favour and selection... the final selections shall not be announced except with the leave of this Court", the Court added.

Meera Emmanuel

The Madras High Court on Monday directed that Advocates be also allowed to apply for the post of judicial member for the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) in an interim order passed on a plea challenging the Tribunal, Appellate Tribunal and other Authorities (Qualifications, Experience and other Conditions of Service of Members) Rules, 2020.

The 2020 Rules were challenged by the Service Bar Association on grounds that it siginificantly excluded advocates from being eligible for appointment as a CAT member.

A notification for CAT member appointments was issued in July this year, and the last date to apply for the post was fixed on August 20.

The Court has now directed that the Central Government also accept applications made by Advocates for appointment as CAT members, as an interim measure. The order was passed keeping in view the last date for applications and the fact that the Centre is yet to respond on the challenge made to the 2020 Rules.

The Bench of Chief Justice AP Sahi and Justice Senthil Ramamoorthy passed the interim order while also taking note that similar interim relief was granted by the Court earlier this year in respect of DRT appointments.

On July 31, the Court had directed that the Government allow advocates to apply for the post of DRT presiding officer while dealing with a challenge made to the 2020 Rules by the Revenue Bar Association. In that case, the interim relief was granted given that the last date for applications, as per the notification issued under the challenged Rules, was on August 3.

While granting the interim relief, the Court had also clarified that,

"...the participation of the Advocates so permitted will not create any right in their favour and selection, if any, and the final selections shall not be announced except with the leave of this Court or any other appropriate orders that may be passed in future."

Given that the same situation is evident in the instant case when it came to CAT appointments, the High Court has directed that its July 31 directions be applicable to this case as well.

"... the interim order as indicated in paragraph 5 of the order dated 31.07.2020 quoted hereinabove, shall also be available to the petitioner herein", reads the order.

The Court proceeded to direct that both cases be listed together on August 28, by which time the Central Government is expected to file a response.

Advocate V Vijayashankar appeared for the Service Bar Association, whereas the respondents were represented by Counsel N Ramesh.

Read the Order:

Service Bar Association v. UOI and ors - August 17 order.pdf
Preview
Bar and Bench - Indian Legal news
www.barandbench.com