Large number of pending vacancies in the High Courts leads to delay in disposal of cases : Chief Justice of India
Chief Justice of India, Shri Justice T. S. Thakur has said that a large number of pending vacancies in the High Courts and the various Tribunals leads to delay in disposal of cases. Inaugurating the All India Conference of Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) here today, Shri Justice Thakur said there is a need to amend the rules for appointment of Chairpersons and Members of the various Tribunals so that the judges of the High Courts can also be eligible for the posts. He said the Conference coincides with the Constitution Day and the first pledge we, the people of India, have taken in the Preamble, commits us to provide Justice to all.
Presiding over the Inaugural Session the Union Minister for Electronics & Information Technology and Law & Justice, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad said the CAT has been a unique experience even amongst the Tribunals since the Institution is a successful blend of judicial and administrative excellence. The CAT has rendered a yeoman’s role in the evolution of Service matters and framing of rules, he added. Stating that a rising number of appeals against CAT judgements before the High Courts and Supreme Court compounds to the problem of pending litigations, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad said the idea of inter-court appeal may be explored as an alternative.
Speaking on the occasion Supreme Court judge, Mr Justice J. Chelameswar said the CAT has completed 30 years and the occasion merits both celebration and introspection. Mr Justice Chelameswar said almost 35% of cases pending before the higher courts are Service related matters, he added. Lack of precision in the Law and judicial rulings favouring both the rival parties are the prime reasons for the mounting arrears in Service related litigations, he added.
Addressing the gathering the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh assured the Government will work towards strengthening the CAT. Besides, he advocated more interactions between the CAT and the Union Ministries while also proposing inter-Ministerial Committees to avoid instances of conflicting judgements in similar cases on different occasions. An Amendment Bill to the Prevention of Corruption Act is pending before the Parliament that would mandate sanction for prosecution of all Officers as against the existing Joint Secretary level and above to provide a shield to the honest and diligent officers, he added. In fulfilling the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s vision of “Maximum Governance, Minimum Government”, Dr Jitendra Singh said his Ministry has taken several initiatives to improve the Grievance Redressal mechanism and putting all DoPT information in the public domain besides launching a mobile app where the entire personnel data can be accessed on the phone.
Presenting a glimpse of the progress done by the various CATs, Chairman, Principal Bench, CAT, Mr Justice Permod Kohli said the various CAT benches have disposed off more than six lakh cases, which amounts to disposal of 94% cases brought before it. The fact that 77% of such judgements have been upheld by the High Courts is a pointer to the success of the CAT as an institution in Service matters. Mr Justice Kohli also urged for granting administrative and financial powers to the CAT so as to expedite its own infrastructure projects.
In his address Mr Justice Harun-ul-Rashid, Member Judicial, CAT, Bengaluru Bench, urged the Government to raise the age limit for Judicial Members so that vacancies can be filled up fast with deserving and experienced judges.