What is composition of Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT)?

Q.  Which of the following places is not a principle seat of High Court but has a regular bench of Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT)?
- Published on 16 Mar 17

a. Jaipur
b. Chandigarh
c. Cuttack
d. Mumbai

ANSWER: Jaipur
  • The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) was set up in 1985 with the principal bench at Delhi and additional benches in different states.

  • At present, it has 17 regular benches, 15 of which operate at the principal seats of High Courts and the remaining two at Jaipur and Lucknow.

  • These benches also hold circuit sittings at other seats of High Courts.

  • The CAT exercises original jurisdiction in relation to recruitment and all service matters of public servants covered by it.

  • Its jurisdiction extends to the All-India Services, the Central Civil Services, civil posts under the centre and civilian employees of defense services.

  • However, the members of the defense forces, officers and servants of the Supreme Court and the secretarial staff of the Parliament are not covered by it.

  • The CAT is a multi-member body consisting of a Chairman and members.

  • Earlier, the CAT consisted of a Chairman, Vice-Chairmen and members.

  • With the amendment in Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985 in 2006, the members have been given the status of judges of High Courts.

  • In 2013, the sanctioned strength of the Chairman is one and sanctioned strength of the Members is 65.

  • They are drawn from both judicial and administrative streams and are appointed by the President.

  • They hold office for a term of five years or until they attain the age of 65 years, in case of Chairman and 62 years in case of members, whichever is earlier.

  • The CAT is not bound by the procedure laid down in the Civil Procedure Code of 1908.

  • It is guided by the principles of natural justice.

  • These principles keep the CAT flexible in approach.

  • Only a nominal fee of Rs. 50 is to be paid by the applicant.

  • The applicant may appear either in person or through a lawyer.

  • Originally, appeals against the orders of the CAT could be made only in the Supreme Court and not in the High Courts.

  • However, in the Chandra Kumar case (1997), the Supreme Court declared this restriction on the jurisdiction of the high courts as unconstitutional, holding that judicial review is a part of the basic structure of the constitution.

  • It laid down that appeals against the orders of the CAT shall lie before the division bench of the concerned High Court.

  • So, now it is not possible for an aggrieved public servant to approach the Supreme Court directly against an order of the CAT, without first going to the concerned High Court.

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