New Delhi: The Supreme Court on 21 May issued notice to the Centre on a petition challenging amendments in a law to abolish the post of Vice-Chairman in the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) and formulation of new guidelines for appointment of members allegedly aiming at benefitting bureaucrats.
A Bench comprising Justice Arijit Pasayat and Justice D K Jain sought response from the Ministry of Law on a petition questioning such amendments in the Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985.
The petition filed by advocate A K Behera, President, CAT, has sought quashing the decision of the Centre to abolish the post of Vice-Chairman and alleged that the insertion of section 10A in the Act postulates different conditions of service for the Members of the tribunal appointed under the unamended rules and amended rules.
Senior advocate Raju Ramachandran, appearing for the petitioner, contended that the eligibility qualification for appointment as a administrative members was changed in such a way that only IAS officer can become eligible now.
“All the said amendments were carried out without any rationale basis nor have they nexus with any defined objective,” the petition said.
The advocate said the maximum tenure of 10 years prescribed for members was arbitrary when the age of superannuation of members have been increased from 62 to 65 years and it would also be deterimental to the members of tribunal directly appointed from the Bar at the age 45 years.
The petitioner contended that the amendment amount to interference of executive in the affairs of judiciary.