Par panel asks CAT to analyse why aggrieved approaching High Courts against its orders

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New Delhi, Mar 17 (PTI) A parliamentary committee has asked the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), that adjudicates service matters of government employees, to analyse as to why the aggrieved are approaching High Courts against its orders.

The Department-Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice asked the tribunal to furnish a status note in this regard to it in three months.

'The committee observes that CAT was established to expedite the redressal of service related grievances. However, it is observed that a large number of writ petitions are being filed against the orders of CAT in High Courts every year,' the panel said in its 106th report on Demands for Grants (2021-22) of the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions.

The panel feels this is defeating the very purpose of the Administrative Tribunals Act, it said.

'The committee recommends CAT to analyse as to why the aggrieved are approaching High Courts and furnish a status note to the committee in three months time,' stated the report tabled in Parliament on Tuesday.

According to the information provided by CAT, a total of 8,40,730 cases have been filed in various benches of the tribunal, out of which 62,283 are pending disposal up to December 31, 2020.

Of these, 19,167 cases were pending for zero to one year, 34,906 cases for one to five years, 7,266 cases for five to 10 years and 444 cases for more than 10 years, it stated.

'The Committee is of the opinion that pendency of cases in CAT is strongly linked to its strength as well as number of benches. The Committee recommends the government to fill up vacancies in CAT at the earliest,' the report said.

To mitigate the huge arrears of pending cases that have been affecting the efficiency of CAT and to ensure the right of citizens to timely delivery of justice, the panel recommended that the Supreme Court's direction regarding setting up of permanent or circuit benches of CAT at the seat of every High Court should be implemented at the earliest.

Out of the total 66 sanctioned posts of members, including chairman, of CAT, 27 are lying vacant as on date, the report stated.

Among the 18 benches, including the principal bench, eight Principal Bench, Ahmedabad Bench, Allahabad Bench, Chandigarh Bench, Ernakulum Bench, Hyderabad Bench, Jaipur Bench & Jodhpur Bench are functional from its own building.

'Other benches are operating either from the space allotted by the government or from rental buildings,' the report stated. PTI AKV AKV NSD NSD