The Bombay High Court on Wednesday asked the Central government to undertake all necessary steps to fill up vacancies in all benches of the Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal (MAT) by the first week of October 2023. [Yogesh Morbale v. Registrar, MAT].A Bench of Chief Justice DK Upadhyaya and Justice Arif Doctor pulled up the Maharashtra government for its laxity leading to delay in sending a list of recommended candidates to the Central government for its verification and approval. “Slackness on the part of the State government in sending recommendations resulted in a delay in appointing members (judicial and technical) to MAT. Considering the nature of functions of the tribunal, any slackness by authorities in filing vacancies cannot be permitted,” the Court said. .The Court was informed that the tribunal had four vacant posts since 2021 and lists containing recommended candidates had been sent to the Central government in July last year.In response, the central government stated that it would take 3 months to complete the verification process. Taking this into consideration, the Bench recorded in its order that it expected the Centre to complete the appointment process by the first week of October 2023..The direction came in a petition filed by one Yogesh Morbale, an advocate from Kolhapur, Maharashtra raising a grievance over the functioning of the tribunal. His plea also highlighted a lack of funds allotted, as a result of which there were insufficient functional computers and technicians at the tribunal..Advocates Dr Uday Warunjikar, Yashodeep Deshmukh and Vinod Sangvikar for the petitioner informed the Court that a representation had been addressed to the State government seeking an infrastructure upgrade.The Court was irked at such requests, to which Warunjikar replied that the same was a result of friction between executive and judiciary. “Bombay High Court is probably the only one in the country where there is a separate assignment for court infrastructure. It is also because of the friction between the executive and the judiciary. Whenever anything is required from the executive, we have to come to court,” the lawyer said. .The Court was informed that due to vacancies, the division benches of the MAT at Nagpur and Aurangabad were not functioning. In view of this, all division bench matters were transferred.“The lack of video conference facilities prevents litigants to seek redressal of grievances. The Registrar of MAT assured that he shall take adequate steps to ensure that these benches work in hybrid mode,” the Court recorded. .The Court asked the government pleader to convey to the concerned department that an administrative tribunal coming to a standstill was in nobody’s interest. “Please convey to the concerned department, an administrative tribunal coming to a standstill - for vacancies, or lack of infrastructure - is in nobody’s interest. There are matters pertaining to dues, appointments, etc. Cannot come to a standstill."