CAT not required to defend orders in higher courts: SC

By: |
New Delhi | August 22, 2016 8:23 PM

The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) is not required to be made a party in the Supreme Court and the High Courts to defend their decisions on service matters, the apex court ruled today.

The apex court set aside the order the Gujarat High Court which had held that the tribunal should have been made a party before its single judge bench in an appeal. (PTI)The apex court set aside the order the Gujarat High Court which had held that the tribunal should have been made a party before its single judge bench in an appeal. (PTI)

The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) is not required to be made a party in the Supreme Court and the High Courts to defend their decisions on service matters, the apex court ruled today.

“The tribunal is not required to defend its orders when they are challenged before the High Court in a Special Civil Application under Articles 226 and 227.

“The lis is between the management and a member of its teaching or non-teaching staff, as the case may be. It is for the person aggrieved to pursue his or her remedies before the tribunal. An order of the tribunal is capable of being tested in exercise of the power of judicial review under Articles 226 and 227.

“When the remedy is invoked, the tribunal is not required to step into arena of conflict for defending its order. Hence, the tribunal is not a necessary party to the proceedings in a special civil application,” a bench of Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said.

The apex court set aside the order the Gujarat High Court which had held that the tribunal should have been made a party before its single judge bench in an appeal.

The appeal was initially filed before the single judge bench of the High Court against the order of the CAT upholding the decision to sack one teacher M S Kazi.

The single judge decided the plea on merits and upheld the decision of the tribunal that Kazi was rightly removed.

The division bench of High Court did not go into merits and dismissed the plea on the ground that the tribunal was not made a party in the appeal.

Asking the High Court to decide the plea afresh on merits, the apex court said, “the Appellant instituted a proceeding before the tribunal to challenge an order of dismissal passed against him in disciplinary proceedings. Before the tribunal, the legality of the order of dismissal was in question.

“The tribunal was not required to defend its order in the writ proceedings before the learned Single Judge. Even if the High Court was to require the production of the record before the tribunal, there was no necessity of impleading the tribunal as a party to the proceedings. The tribunal not being required in law to defend its own order, the proceedings under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution were maintainable without the tribunal being impleaded,” it held.

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