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"...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.
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,
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 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: