Archive for CAT

Employees may not be able to challenge CAT judgment in SC

Employees may not be able to challenge CAT judgment in SC

Bad news is in store for government employees contesting matters relating to their service conditions in the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) as they may not be able to challenge the judgment in the Supreme Court.
Government employees not satisfied with CAT orders on their service matters will continue to appeal in High Courts as government’s plan to enable them approach the apex court directly has received a thumbs down from the top law officer.
Recently, the Department of Personnel had asked the Law Ministry whether the present system of CAT orders being challenged in High Courts be changed to fast track disposal of cases of government employees relating to their service conditions and employment rules.
The Law Ministry referred the matter to Attorney General Ghoolam Vahanvati who opined against the move saying a 1997 Supreme Court judgment on the issue should continued to be followed.
"As of now, the buck stops here (on the issue)," Law Minister M Veerappa Moily told PTI when asked to comment on Vahanvati’s opinion.
He said his ministry was trying to find a solution. "But I would not like to add anything more to it," he added.
When the CAT was established in 1985 by an Act of Parliament, its rules clearly stated that its judgments on service related matters of state and central government employees can only be challenged in the apex court.
While the same rules is in operation even today, a 1997 Supreme Court ruling held that judicial review is the basic feature of the Constitution and a High Court’s power on judicial review cannot be taken away.
After the judgment, appeals against CAT rulings were entertained in High Courts.
"The Armed Forces Tribunal Act has been borrowed from CAT. Appeals against Tribunal’s orders can only be challenged in the Supreme Court. But in CAT’s case, it has become a three tier system…the entire purpose of CAT has been defeated," said a CAT functionary.
He said while CAT usually disposes off a case in six months, appeal in High Court often takes years.
"They pay Rs 50 as fee to move CAT, but they have to pay thousands of rupees in High Court…if the matter reaches Supreme Court, the time and cost involved is massive," he said.

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All India Conference of Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT): Commended for Speedy Disposal of Cases

All India Conference of Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT)
Commended for Speedy Disposal of Cases

All India Conference of Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) Opened Today CAT Commended for Speedy Disposal of Cases
The All India Conference of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) began here today. The Conference, which is being held in the Silver Jubilee year of the CAT, was inaugurated by Mr. Justice Altamas Kabir, a senior Judge of the Supreme Court and was presided over by Dr. M. Veerappa Moily, the Union Minister of Law & Justice. The Minister of State for Personnel, P.G. & Pensions, Shri V. Narayanasamy was also present on the occasion. The Inaugural Session was followed by in house discussion on the agenda items raised by the Members and the session was chaired by the Chairman, CAT, Justice V.K. Bali.
Speaking at the Inaugural Session, the Union Minister of Law & Justice Dr. Moily called upon for the change of attitude in our administrative governance to ensure that unnecessary and trivial service matters are not brought before the Tribunals and Courts. He said that we need to devise mechanism where the problems of the employees are sorted out in the administrative set up itself. To sort out these issues, he said, we need to do ‘out of the box thinking’. He said that the accountability, performance and output of the employees must be judged while handling their cases.
In his inaugural address, Mr. Justice Altamas Kabir applauded the Central Administrative Tribunal for disposing of the cases before it expeditiously and also commended it for the fact that most of its judgments have been upheld by the higher courts.
Speaking on the occasion, the Minister of State for Personnel, P.G. & Pensions, Shri V. Narayanasamy said that the pendency in the Tribunal is substantially low and the time period to dispose of cases is much less compared to higher courts. He said that the government is seriously thinking of ways and means to bring within the jurisdiction of the Central Administrative Tribunal many more Central Govt. organizations and institutions working. He said that so far we have brought 191 organizations within the ambit of the CAT, so that more Government employees would be in a position to get speedy justice for their grievances. If we can fulfill the infrastructure needs of CAT, even the PSUs and Public Sector Banking Institutions could be covered. He asked the CAT officials to send a proposal to Planning Commission stipulating their infrastructural needs and assured that his Ministry would make efforts to ensure that CAT’s requirements in this regard are fully met.
Shri Narayanasamy said that the historic RTI Act, 2005, has brought great transparency in governance. He said that we are taking further steps to improve RTI law to strengthen it to increase public disclosure, so that most of the information except national security and personal privacy related information would be in public domain.
In his Key note address, Mr. Justice G.S. Singhvi, Judge, Supreme Court of India emphasized on reforms in the Public Services Commissions of the States and said that persons of impeccable integrity should be holding positions in such Boards. He said the Government must ensure that the matters like gratuity and pension etc are resolved in-house and such matters should not reach the Tribunals or the Courts. He called for evolving departmental mechanism which can address the employees’ grievances and thus help reducing burden of courts in service matters.
The Chairman of the CAT, Mr. Justice V.K. Bali said that the about 200 institutions/organizations have been notified resulting into manifold increase in the work of the various Benches of the CAT. But despite quantitative increase in the work, the Tribunals across the country have kept pace with disposal, he said.
Justice Bali informed that at the Principal Bench, the disposal rate is 100%. On an average, 91% cases of the Principal Bench have been upheld in the High Court and the position with regard to other Benches not much different, he said. Justice Bali said that the Tribunal has performed well quantitatively and qualitatively.
Earlier Shri L.K. Joshi, Vice-Chairman of the Central Administrative Tribunal delivered the Welcome Address and later Vote of Thanks was proposed by Shri K.V. Sachidanandan, also Vice-Chairperson.
The Administrative Tribunals in India were set up in 1985 and function from 17 Benches across the country. These Tribunals are unique in the sense that the Members of these Tribunals are both from the Administrative as well as Judicial side. Each Division Bench comprises of a judicial & administrative Member. The Administrative Tribunals in India are different from the Tribunals functioning in some other countries as the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) here was set up solely with the purpose of dealing with the cases relating to the recruitment and conditions of service of persons appointed to public services and posts under the control of the Government and thereby, reducing the burden of the High Courts to that extent.
The Conference being held is an Annual Conference which is generally held on 1st Nov every year as this was the day the CAT was established. It is attended by all the Members of the CAT where agenda items brought up by the various Members and other issues being faced by the Tribunal are discussed and recommendations of the Conference are sent to the Government for action. This year is being celebrated as the ‘Silver Jubilee” year of the setting up of the CAT.

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CAT clears air on promotion benefits

CAT clears air on promotion benefits

If an employee, fulfiling the eligibility criteria for promotion to a particular post, works for a reasonable period on that post against a vacancy,, the government cannot deny him/her the actual promotion and accompanying financial benefits, the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has held.
A Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) bench headed by Chairman Justice V.K. Bali held that in such a situation, it would be arbitrary to deny salary and other benefits of the promoted post to the employee.
The bench ordered the Delhi Government to re-fix the salary and retirement benefits of six retired school teachers, who had been given notional promotion to the post of principal, albeit without any accruing financial benefits.
Rejecting the Delhi Government’s arguments that all promotions had to be prospective and retired employees had no right to actual promotion, the CAT allowed the petition filed by Gaurishankar Sharma, Budh Prakash Tyagi, Raj Kumar Uppal, Prabhu Dayal, Jagdish Prasad Sharma and Chintamani Mathur.
It directed the Delhi Government to fix the correct salary of the petitioners, from the dates each of them had been promoted notionally to principal and to fix par arrears of salary for the period they were in service.
The CAT also ordered payment of revised retirement benefits, with six per cent interest on arrears within four months. The petitioners had served as heads of schools over several years.
But the Departmental Promotion Committee (DPC), held after their retirement, recommended only notional promotion for them and accordingly, the government did not give them any financial benefit of promotion.
Aggrieved by the decision, they moved the CAT, seeking benefit of the pay scale of principal, from the date they were assumed charge of the post, plus the arrears of pay and allowances after proper pay fixation, with retrospective effect. They also demanded revision of their retirement benefits.
The government contended the DPC could not be convened due to procedural reasons while they were in service and making them principals was only a stopgap arrangement. It said petitioners were not eligible for revision of retirement benefits and back wages because their promotion was only notional.
But citing the Supreme Court’s rulings on the issue, the CAT rejected these arguments.
“By virtue of the fact that the Applicants have actually worked on the post of principal, they would …be eligible for payment of back wages also, besides salary for the post of principal, from the date they have been notionally promoted to that post,” it said.
Source: Hindustan Times

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Employee to be heard in case of adverse ACR: CAT

Employee to be heard in case of adverse ACR: CAT

The government has to give an opportunity to its employee to present his case if there is an adverse remark in the Annual Confidential Report(ACR) which could hamper his promotion, the Central Administrative Tribunal(CAT)has said.
The tribunal passed the order on a petition of a senior scientist, J P Sharma, working with Indian Council of Agricultural Research(ICAR),alleging that he was deprived of promotion on the basis of an adverse ACR without giving him an opportunity to challenge the report.
The government contended that overall grading in his ACR for last two years was ‘average’ but denied him the right to representation on the ground that it was not adverse per se.
But, the tribunal did not agree with the government’s view and said the employee has the right to be heard in all cases where his prospect of promotion gets adversely affected due to the ‘average’ grading as he would get promoted only after getting ‘very good’ grading.
"It is the effect which the entry is having which determines whether it is an adverse one or not. Any entry below the benchmark which deprives someone of eligibility for promotion must be informed about and be given a right to representation," the Bench comprising chairman V K Bali and N D Dayal said.
Source: Zee News

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