New Delhi, May 13 (Ajitweekly News) The Supreme Court on Friday said the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has collapsed, in view of several vacancies in it.
A bench, headed by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and comprising Justice Surya Kant, said how will the tribunal work, if appointments are not made.
It added that the Centre advertised in April this year and making new appointments will take some time.
“It has collapsed and if the remaining (27) members also retire, then it would further collapse,” the bench said, noted that there are 43 vacancies including the Chairperson.
It held that against the backdrop of vacancies in the CAT – which would impinge upon the citizens’ right of access to justice, the exercise of jurisdiction of Article 142 is mandated.
Meanwhile, Additional Solicitor General Balbir Singh, appearing for the Centre in the matter, said that they have received more than 600 applications and vacancies would be filled by July end.
The bench said the incumbent holding the post of members of the CAT, either the judicial member or the administrative member, would continue to function even after the completion of their tenure. It clarified that this arrangement is till the next of hearing, and scheduled the matter for further hearing on July 26.
It said it anticipates that by the next date of hearing the Centre would have filled the vacancies.
Citing a chart prepared by Centre, the bench said further vacancies will occur on various dates in June, August, September, and November.
The top court was hearing a plea filed through advocate Amita Singh Kalkal in connection with non-filling of vacancies and many of the benches of these tribunals have become non-functional.
Last week, the top court expressed discontent that six circuit benches of the CAT have become virtually non-functional due to the retirement of judicial and administrative members. Also, six benches of CAT including at Jabalpur, Cuttack, Lucknow, Jammu, and Srinagar are left with only one member.