Govt prods CAT to improve efficiency

In a bid to improve efficiency of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), the government on Saturday asked its chairman and members to speed up the rate of disposal of cases and reduce pending litigations.

“It is observed that by the end of January 2013, 805 cases were pending for more than five years. We should definitely look into this aspect and try to minimise such pendency. I would, therefore, request the chairman and members of the tribunal to accelerate their pace. There is still room for improvement in its efficiency,” Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions V Narayanasamy said.

He was addressing a one-day all India conference of CAT here.

Responding to the minister’s call, CAT Chairman Justice Syed Rafat Alam assured the tribunal would now try its level best to reduce the disposal time of the cases from two years to one calendar year or lesser.

The minister also underlined the “urgent need” to strengthen the CAT and make it more effective, saying a proposal to amend Administrative Tribunal Act 1985 is under active consideration of the government to streamline their functioning.  The Bill seeking to bring in amendments was referred to a department related Parliamentary standing committee which has submitted its report.

The minister said one of the main amendments proposed is to authorise the CAT chairman to delegate his powers regarding transfer petitions.  Another proposal to bring about uniformity of tenure and service conditions of the members of all judicial tribunals was also under consideration.

“To evolve a consensus on these issues, an inter-ministerial group has been set up,” he added.Addressing the conference, Chief Justice of India Justice Altamas Kabir assured that more government employees would be in a position to get speedy justice by the tribunal.

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