COVID 19Legislation UpdatesNotifications

As directed by the Hon’ble Chairman, Central Administrative Tribunal, New Delhi, the following Notification is issued:

The functioning of the Principal Bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal and its other Benches across the Country was suspended in view of the lockdown announced by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India vide Orders dt: 24.03.2020 and the subsequent order of extension dt: 14.04.2020 till 03.05.2020.

The MHA issued Order dt: 01.05.2020 providing guidelines for identification of the RED (hotspots), GREEN and ORANGE Zones, depending on the severity of COVID-19 cases and the nature of activities that are prohibited and permitted in the zones so declared. Taking these developments into account, the following instructions, as regards the functioning of the Central Administrative Tribunal, are issued:

Wherever the Benches/Courts are located in GREEN zones, they shall function duly following the guidelines that are issued by the MHA such as maintaining the Social Distance, making the sanitary arrangements and avoiding the direct contact.

To the extent possible, the method of functioning of the High Courts in the concerned area shall be adopted. The Head of the Department (HoD) of the concerned Bench shall take decisions in this behalf in consultation with the President of the Bar Association. The feedback as to the convenience of the employees and their method of functioning shall be taken from the Registrar of the Bench. The decisions taken in this regard shall be forthwith forwarded to the Registry of the Principal Bench.

As regards the Benches that are in RED (lockdown areas) and ORANGE Zones, the cases of urgent nature can be filed through electronic mail service (e-mail) by contacting the Registrar of the concerned Bench, who in turn shall furnish the e-mail id to the intending Advocate or Party. If the Registry is satisfied that the OA is otherwise in order and needs to be dealt with urgently, the HoD of the Bench shall be informed of the same. The HoD in turn shall decide whether or not to take up the case. If it is proposed to hear the case, it shall be done through CISCO WEBEX online Video Conferencing Facility.

 The details thereof shall be worked out by the HoD of the Benches in consultation with the Registry of the Principal Bench. It shall be ensured that the participants in the Video Conference put on the apparel or at least, are properly dressed.

If the Advocates of the Bar Association of such Benches are agreeable for hearing of pending cases through such mechanism, the cases shall be identified by the registry and hearing thereof shall take place through the same system in a time slot that may be decided by the HoD on daily basis.

This arrangement shall be in force till 17.05.2020 or until further orders.

Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions

[Press Release dt. 02-05-2020]

[Source: PIB]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: A Division Bench of Rajiv Sharma and Harinder Singh Sidhu JJ., set aside the decision of the Central Administrative Tribunal on the basis of the principle of law.

A writ petition was filed against the order of Central Administrative Tribunal, Chandigarh, where the order challenging the termination was dismissed.

The brief facts were that the Recruitment Cell of the Post Graduate Institute of the Medical Education & Research (PGI) issued advertisement inviting online applications for recruitment to various posts including Technician Grade-IV. The petitioner who had eight-year experience applied for the same post under the Schedule Caste category. As per the procedure, the petitioner submitted the documents for scrutiny. As a part of the selection procedure, the petitioner and other candidates were asked to perform the technical work in which the petitioner secured highest marks and thus was thereby appointed.  But on the complaint of one of the other candidate, the appointment was challenged on the ground of not having the basic qualification. Thereby it was reported by the committee formed by the respondent that experience certificate was true and genuine but it was found that petitioner did not possess the qualification for the said post and on this ground, the services of the petitioner were terminated. Thus, this writ petition.

High Court opined that there was no allegation of any misrepresentation on the part of the petitioner also there was no observation that he was lacking in skills or that his work at PGI was not up to the standards.  The Court cited the judgment of M.S. Mudhol v. S.D. Halegkar, (1993) 3 SCC 591, in which it was held that where there was no misrepresentation by a candidate, and despite his not possessing the qualifications he had been appointed and had worked for a considerable time it would be iniquitous to disturb him. Thus the petition was allowed as the petitioner had worked there for more than a year and thus the petitioner was directed to be reinstated in the service with all consequential benefits.[Varinder Hans v. Union of India, 2019 SCC OnLine P&H 1343, decided on 31-07-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Patna High Court: The Division Bench of Amreshwar Pratap Sahi and Anjana Mishra, JJ. rejected a petition assailing the order delivered by Central Administrative Tribunal, on the ground of inordinate delay in filing the petition.

In the instant case, an employee had died in harness in the year 1992. The matter for compassionate appointment in place of the deceased employee was taken up by the Central Administrative Tribunal where it was, ultimately, disposed of in 2008. The instant petition was filed challenging the order of the said Tribunal.

The Court noted that the present petition had been filed after an inordinate delay of almost ten years and the explanation sought to be given for the delay did not appear to be convincing. It was opined that the petition was heavily barred by laches, more so, as the subject matter related to that of compassionate appointment.

In view of the above, the Court declined to interfere on the ground of laches. [Ravi Shankar Kumar v. Union of India, 2019 SCC OnLine Pat 255, Order dated 27-02-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Allahabad High Court: A writ petition was filed by Union of India and the Railway Administration before a  Division Bench comprising of B. Amit Sthalekar and Jayant Banerji, JJ., with a prayer to quash the order passed by Central Administrative Tribunal where original application filed by respondent to set aside order debarring petitioner from giving RRB exams, was allowed.

Facts of the case are that respondent applied for the post of Junior Engineer-II (Mechanical), Junior Engineer-II (Mechanical CADCAM) and Junior Engineer-II (Carriage and Wagon) through RRB. Respondent gave a written test in which he was declared passed. After the completion of the verification process when the final results were declared respondent’s name was not found. After inquiry by respondent to the concerned authority he got to know that he had been barred for lifetime from all RRB exams. It was informed to Nodal RRB that RRB Chennai had informed that he had been debarred. RRB Chennai informed him that it had not debarred him but the same had been done by Mumbai RRB. Later, it was found that RRB Mumbai barred respondent on the ground that he submitted two applications with different photographs for post of Apprentice Engineer (Mechanical). Respondent had challenged this order in his application. Petitioner approached Tribunal where Tribunal favoured respondent holding that order of debarment was unreasonable, unjust, and arbitrary and his natural rights had been violated. Therefore, respondent’s original application was allowed and concerned authority was directed to consider the candidature of respondent.

The railway prayed for setting aside of Tribunal’s order on the ground that respondent had committed fraud on Railway Authority by submitting two application. Petitioner submitted that earlier respondent had filed an original application before Chandigarh Tribunal where it was dismissed and thus original application was filed before Central Administrative Tribunal and thus was not maintainable.

The High Court was of the view that Chandigarh Tribunal dismissed the original application with a liberty to file a fresh application and the issues, in this case, were not decided by Tribunal, therefore, this will not act as res judicata. Petitioner failed to show any record when the debarment of respondent was communicated to him. Therefore, the court found no merit in the petition and the petition was dismissed. [Union of India v. Javier,2018 SCC OnLine All 1782, order dated 05-10-2018]