Central Administrative Tribunal


In India’s administrative system, the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) is a key institution that is crucial in settling conflicts among government personnel and administrative issues. The CAT has established itself as a crucial component of India’s administrative justice system. It was created to provide swift justice and preserve the values of fairness. It will examine the background, duties, authority, and relevance of the Central Administrative Tribunal in India in this insightful post.

History, Jurisdiction and Functions

  • In 1985, the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) was established, with its main bench located in Delhi and auxiliary benches located in several states. There are now 17 ordinary benches, 15 of which are in use in the major high court locations, and the last two at Lucknow and Jaipur.
  • These benches are utilized for circuit sittings as well. many high court locations. When it comes to hiring, the CAT has initial jurisdiction. and it covers every aspect of public officials’ service. Its the Central civil service, the All-India services, and service providers, civil staff of the Center, and protection services. Nevertheless, the military personnel, the secretarial staff, Supreme Court officials, and It does not apply to Parliament employees.
  • The CAT is a body with many members, including a chairman and members. The CAT’s original leadership team had a Chairman, Vice-Chairman, and members. Later, in 2006, the Administrative Tribunals eliminated the Vice Chairman provision. the 2006 (Amendment) Act. As a result, there is no Vice-Chairman today within CAT. In the current year (2019), the authorized strength of the There is only one Chairman, and there are 65 authorized members. They come from the judicial and administrative sectors, respectively, and through presidential appointment. They have a five-year tenure in office years, or, in the case of a chairman, until they become 65 years old. 62 years of age for members, whichever comes first.
  • The CAT makes appointments for members based on suggestions made by a powerful screening committee that was by a Supreme Court Justice in office who has been chosen by the Indian Chief Justice, after getting the Chief’s approval appointments to the Justice of India are appointed with the consent of the Cabinet’s Appointments Committee (ACC).
  • The Civil Procedure Act does not apply to the CAT. The 1908 Procedure Code. It is governed by the fundamentals of natural law of justice. These guidelines preserve the CAT’s adaptability. Only anominal fee of ₹50 is to be paid by the applicant.
  • The candidate may do so directly or through a representative. Initially, challenges to the CAT’s rulings might not in the upper courts but only in the Supreme Court. The Chandra Kumar case, however, The Supreme Court ruled in 1997 announced that the high courts’ jurisdiction is restricted in this way as finding that judicial review is a component of the fundamental rights, constitution’s organizational framework. It stipulated that appeals against the division bench of the court shall hear the orders of the CAT high court with worry. As a result, it is now impossible for an Public servant who feels wronged should speak with the Supreme Court immediately against a CAT order, without first consulting the affected party high court.

Meaning and Function

For a number of reasons, the Central Administrative Tribunal is important to the Indian administrative system.

  • Swift Justice: The main goal of CAT’s founding was to lessen the backlog of administrative matters in ordinary courts. It has been successful in giving government workers prompt redress, maintaining the administration’s effectiveness.
  • Specialization: By concentrating solely on administrative issues, CAT makes guarantee that cases are heard by subject-matter specialists, resulting in more fair and knowledgeable judgements.
  • Employee Welfare: The tribunal protects the rights of government workers by shielding them from unfair judgments, discrimination, or harassment at work.
  • Administrative Accountability: CAT ensures that government actions adhere to legal standards and principles while encouraging accountability and openness.
  • Accessible Justice: Government personnel in rural places may use CAT because of its nationwide presence through a number of benches, which eliminates the need for protracted travel and its accompanying expenses.
  • Reduction of Litigation Costs: Both government employees and the government itself incur less litigation expense as a result of the tribunal’s quick and cost-effective dispute settlement.

Criticisms and Obstacles

Despite the Central Administrative Tribunal’s considerable contributions to India’s administrative justice system, there are still issues and concerns about it:

  • Vacancies: The CAT’s goal of delivering swift justice has been undermined by delays in case resolution caused by vacancies in the posts of Chairman, Vice-Chairmen, and Members.
  • Limited Powers: According to some detractors, the CAT’s authority is constrained since it is unable to grant financial damages settlements or offer other types of relief beyond overturning or amending governmental decrees.
  • Complex Legal Formalities: Government workers, particularly those without legal assistance, may find it challenging to efficiently manage the legal and procedural requirements involved in CAT matters.
  • Lack of Enforcement: Government agencies frequently fail to comply with CAT directives, which causes additional delays and annoyance for the impacted employees.

In India, a significant institution known as the Central Administrative Tribunal is a key player in providing administrative justice, defending the rights of government workers, and holding the government responsible for its deeds. Although it has made tremendous progress in fulfilling its goal of offering quick and impartial conflict resolution, there are still issues and concerns that must be resolved to increase its efficacy. The CAT’s role in upholding accountability, openness, and justice continues to be crucial as India’s administrative environment changes.


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