Plea against CAT judicial member: Guj HC orders Centre to file reply in two weeks

Plea against CAT judicial member: Guj HC orders Centre to file reply in two weeks
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The Gujarat High Court today ordered the Centre to file in two weeks its reply on the status of inquiry against a judicial member of Central Administrative Tribunal of Ahmedabad bench after a plea sought his removal on the ground that he is \"incompetent\".

Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court today ordered the Centre to file in two weeks its reply on the status of inquiry against a judicial member of Central Administrative Tribunal of Ahmedabad bench after a plea sought his removal on the ground that he is "incompetent". The division bench of Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy and Justice V M Pancholi sought the Centre's response after petitioner Sunita Chaturvedi, also a lawyer at CAT, told the court that the Union government has delayed its reply by four months.

The government pleader sought two weeks' time to file its reply, upon which court granted the same and kept the matter for further hearing on March 2. Earlier, the division bench had issued notices to the central government and others on November 7, 2016 returnable in a week. However, the government sought time on different occasions thereby delaying filing of reply by nearly four months. In her petition, Chaturvedi alleged that CAT judicial member M Nagarajan is "incompetent" in carrying out his work.

She said that Nagarajan acts as both the judge and lawyer on certain cases, and even adjudicates his own drafted petition, and sought from High Court to direct an inquiry against him under section 9 (2)(3) of the Administrative Tribunal Act, and subsequent order based on the findings. President of India, Secretary of Union Law Ministry and Chairman of CAT principal bench are respondents in the case. The petitioner said that due to the judge's incompetency, certain matters were listed after long delay. Citing an example to buttress her claims, petitioner said that in one case the CAT allowed a petition of railway employee for benefits, while it dismissed a petition of the same nature in another case.

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