The Supreme Court in the case Central Administrative Tribunal (Principal Bench) Bar Association, New Delhi v Union of India & Or’s observed in a petition till all the vacancies which arose from 2019-2022 are filled by actual joining of candidates by putting a stay on the impending retirement of all the existing Judicial/ Administrative Members of CAT the court further issued the notice.
In the plea it was stated in the petition that although 35 Judicial Members including the Chairman and 35 Administrative Members cater to 19 benches and 8 circuit benches, many benches of the Tribunals have become non functional because of the retirement of members at regular intervals as it was Preferred by Central Administrative Tribunal (Principal Bench) Bar Association, New Delhi.
Furthermore, the petition stated the Jabalpur Bench, Cuttack Bench, Lucknow Bench, Jammu and Srinagar Bench are left with only one member either Judicial or Administrative because of which no division bench can be constituted there. As on 31st March, 2022, the Guwahati Bench has become totally non-functional as no Member is available there.
Justice Chandrachud stated by taking a note of the above submissions:
A bench can’t be constituted with one member.
Justice Chandrachud further asked to submit an up-to-date chart with regards to the number of members who are present in the various benches of CAT and ordered the counsel for the Central Administrative Tribunal (Principal Bench) Bar Association, New Delhi to do the same.
Justice Kant further added by taking a note of the above submissions:
The members whose term is likely now to expire in Future, give the details of those members.
The benches of the Central Administrative Tribunal will become non-functional if the aforesaid situation continues for a couple of more months, more than half of the sanctioned stated in the plea.
AOR Amita Singh Kalkal, has filled a plea before the Supreme Court.
The bench of comprising of Justice DY Chandrachud and the justice Surya Kant by making a note of the above submissions ordered to issue a notice and in addition the liberty to serve the Central Agency.
The bench ordered to comply with the same and listed the matter on 13th May.