THE ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNALS ACT, 1985

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The Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985 is passed by the Personnel and Training Department of the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions under the Government of India. The Act aims to provide for settlement or trial by means of Administrative Tribunals of disputes and grievances with regard to employment and stipulations of service of employees chosen to public services and job in relation to the departments of the Central or State Government or any local bodies in India or managed by Indian Government or corporation or society held or managed by Government according to the provisions of Article 323 A of the Constitution of India. The Act applies to Central Administrative Tribunal in the entire Indian Territory and with regard to State Administrative Tribunals. The Act is applicable to Indian Territory as a whole excluding the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

The Act provides that the Central Government shall constitute a Central Administrative Tribunal to implement jurisdiction, control and influence vested on such Tribunal under the legislation. The Government of India may constitute State Administrative Tribunals to perform such functions and powers as provided under the provisions of the enactment. The Central Government is empowered under the Act to appoint all members or any members of the State Administrative Tribunals as members of the Central Administrative Tribunals with regard to that State and can perform functions provided on the Central Administrative Tribunal. Upon the application of the concerned State Government, the Central Government may appoint any member of the Central Administrative Tribunal functioning under that State to be member of such State Administrative Tribunal and comply with the directions under the Act. Such person appointed as a member shall have all the powers of a member of Central Administrative Tribunal or State Administrative Tribunal constituted according to Article 323 A of the Constitution of India. .

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The Act provides for the appointment of a Chairman, Vice-Chairman and other members as per the specified qualifications. A person is eligible to be appointed a Chairman if he is or retired judge of the High Court and the Vice-Chairman shall be appointed as the Chairman if he had held office of the Vice-Chairman for at least two years. A person is qualified to be appointed as the Administrative member if he had held office of the Government Secretary at the Union or State level for at least two years or Additional Secretary for at least five years. A person shall be appointed as a Judicial Member of the Tribunal if he is a High Court Judge or qualified to be so or has held the post of Government Secretary or Additional Secretary under the Legal Affairs or Legislative Department or Member-Secretary in the Law Commission of India for not less than five years. The discussion with the Chief Justice of India shall be made by the President before appointing Chairman and Members of the Central Administrative Tribunal. The President shall confer with the Governor of the concerned State before appointing the Chairman or Members of the State Administrative Tribunal.

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The Chairman is empowered to perform financial as well as administrative powers as per the rules framed by the concerned Government. The Central Administrative Tribunal shall have the jurisdiction, authority and control as provided under the Act. The primary responsibility includes the area of recruitment to All India Services, Civil Services, Civil post in defense etc. It also relates to service matters related with a member of such All India Service, a member of Civil Service or a Civilian appointed in the defense services. The related powers and authority are also conferred on the State Administrative Tribunals. The Tribunal shall have the power to punish for contempt similar to that of High Court. The application to try a case before the Tribunal shall be entertained, unless the aggrieved party has exhausted local remedies. The Administrative Tribunal is not duty bound to follow Code of Civil Procedure and shall be directed to follow principles of natural justice. Therefore, the constitution of Administrative Tribunals in India has contributed to the easy and quick disposal of service matters.