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Supreme Court CAT News: Keep working till the vacancy is filled, Supreme Court’s historic decision on CAT

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New Delhi: There is hardly any department of the Central Government or any State or Union Territory which does not have huge vacancies. In departments like court-court and police-administration, lakhs of posts are vacant for a long time, but enough recruitments are not done. In such a situation, common citizens are not able to get essential services or they get too late. But the louse is not crawling on the ears of the governments. This is the reason why the Supreme Court has taken an important decision and said that till there are no recruitments in the tribunals, the judges and other officers-employees there should continue to work even after crossing the age of retirement.

60 percent posts vacant in CAT, how to work

A Supreme Court bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Surya Kant, in exercise of the powers conferred by Article 142 of the Constitution, said that judicial and administrative members of the Central Administrative Tribunals (CATs) should not retire unless the government recruits on vacant posts. Don’t do it 60 percent posts of CAT are lying vacant, due to which it is becoming difficult to handle their normal work.

Out of 69 only 29 members are working

A two-member bench of the Supreme Court said that due to the negligence of the central government, the very important tribunal is counting its last breaths. The bench said that CAT was established in 1985 to deal with the grievances related to the service of central employees. At the time of the establishment of the tribunal, it had 13,500 pending cases from various high courts and lower courts, but now it has 50,000 cases pending. Its plight can be gauged from the fact that out of the 69 members allotted to all the 19 benches of CAT across the country, only 29 members are working.

What will happen to the right of citizens to get justice?
A two-member bench of the Supreme Court in its judgment said, ‘We get the functions of the High Courts related to the service of central personnel. If there are not enough members to constitute a bench to hear the petition, then how will the citizens get justice? Do we have to ask the central employees to now file their petitions in the High Court?’

ASG Balbir Singh, appearing for the Centre, said that advertisements have been issued for the recruitment of 34 posts in April itself and the government expects the appointments of judicial and administrative members to be done by the end of July. On this, the Supreme Court said that by July there will be 34 appointments and then in the next two-three months, many posts will become vacant. “Since the right of citizens to get justice is being affected due to vacant posts, we are exercising the powers conferred by Article 142 of the Constitution,” the court said.

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