Service Law

SERVICE LAW(S) IN INDIA

THE ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNALS ACT, 1985

It is an Act to provide for the adjudication or trial by Administrative Tribunals of disputes and complaints with respect to recruitment and conditions of service of persons appointed to public services and posts in connection with the affairs of the Union or of any State or of any local or other authority within the territory of India or under the control of the Government of India or of [any corporation or society owned or controlled by the Government in pursuance of Article 323A of the Constitution] and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

"1. Short title, extent and commencement – (1) This Act may be called The Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985.

(2). It extends,

(a) in so far as it relates to the Central Administrative Tribunal, to the whole of India:

(b) in so far as it relates to the Administrative Tribunals for States, to the whole of India, except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

(3). The provisions of this Act, in so far as they relate to the Central Administrative Tribunal, shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification, appoint.

(4). The provisions of this Act, in so far as they relate to an Administrative Tribunal for a State, shall come into force in a State on such date as the Central Government may, by notification, appoint.

2. Act not to apply to certain persons : The provisions of this Act shall not apply to-

(a) any member of the naval, military or air forces or of any other armed forces of the Union;

(b) Clause (b) omitted by Act 19 of 1986, sec. 3 (w.r.e.f. 1.11.1985).

(c) Any officer or servant of the Supreme Court or of any High Court [or courts subordinate thereto;

(d) any person appointed to the secretarial staff of either House of Parliament or to the secretarial staff of any State Legislature or a House thereof of, in the case of a Union Territory having a Legislature, of that Legislature."

JURISDICTION, POWERS AND AUTHORITY OF TRIBUNALS

"14. Jurisdiction, powers and authority of the Central Administrative Tribunal.-

(1) Save as otherwise expressly provided in this Act, the Central Administrative Tribunal shall exercise, on and from the appointed day, all the jurisdiction, powers and authority exercisable immediately before that day by all courts (except the Supreme Court in relation to-

(a) recruitment, and matters concerning recruitment, to any All-India Service or to any civil service of the Union or a civil post under the Union or to a post connected with defence or in the defence service, being, in either case, a post filled by a civilian;

(b) all service matters concerning-

(i) a member of any All-India Service; or

(ii) a person [not being a member of an All-India Service or a person referred to in clause (c) ] appointed to any civil service of the Union or any civil post under the Union; or

(iii) a civilian [not being a member of an All-India Service or a person referred in clause (c) ] appointed to any defence services or a post connected with defence,

and pertaining to the service of such member, person or civilian, in connection with the affairs of the Union or of any State or of any local or other authority within the territory of India or under the control of the Government of India or of any corporation [or society] owned or controller by the Government;

(c) all service matters pertaining to service in connection with the affairs of the Union concerning a person appointed to any service or post referred to in sub-clause (ii) or sub-clause (iii) of clause (b), being a person whose services have been placed by a State Government or any local or other authority or any corporation [or society] or other body, at the disposal of the Central Government for such appointment.

[Explanation – for the removal of doubts, it is hereby declared that references to “Union” in this sub-section shall be construed as including references also to a Union territory.]

(2) The Central Government may, by notification, apply with effect from such date as may be specified in the notification the provisions of sub-section (3) to local or other authorities within the territory of India or under the control of the Government of India and to corporations [or societies] owned or controller by Government, not being a local or other authority or corporation [or society] controller or owned by a State Government:

Provided that if the Central Government considers it expedient so to do for the purpose of facilitating transition to the scheme as envisaged by this Act, different dated may be so specified under sub-section in respect of different classes of or different categories under any class of, local or other authorities or corporations [or societies].

(3) Save as otherwise expressly provided in this Act, the Central Administrative tribunal shall also exercise, on and from the date with effect from which the provisions of this sub-section apply to any local or other authority or corporation [or society], all the jurisdiction, powers and authority exercisable immediately before that date by all courts (except the Supreme Court [***] in relation to-

(a) recruitment, and matters concerning recruitment, to any service or post in connection with the affairs of such local or other authority or corporation [or society]; and

(b) all service matters concerning a person [other than a person referred to in clause (a) of sub-section (1) ] appointed to any service or post in connection with the affairs of such local or other authority or corporation [or society] and pertaining to the service of such person in connection with such affairs."

15. Jurisdiction, powers and authority of State Administrative Tribunals-

"(1) Save as otherwise expressly provided in this Act, the Administrative Tribunal for a State Shall exercise, on and from the appointed day, all the jurisdiction, powers and authority exercisable immediately before that day by all courts (except the Supreme Court in relation to –

(a) recruitment, and matters concerning recruitment, to any civil service of the State or to any civil post under the State;

(b) all service matters concerning a person [not being a person referred to in clause (c ) of this sub-section or a member, person or civilian referred to in clause b) of sub-section (1) of section 14] appointed to any civil service of the State or any civil post under the State and pertaining to the service of such person in connection with the affairs of the State Government or of any corporation [society] owned or controlled by the State Government;

(c) all service matters pertaining to service in connection with the affairs of the State concerning a person appointed to any service or post referred to in clause (b), being a person whose services have been placed by any such local or other authority or corporation [or society] or other body as is controlled or owned by the State Government, at the disposal of the State Government for such appointment.

(2) The State Government may, by notification, apply with effect from such date as may be specified in the notification the provisions of sub-section(3) to local or other authorities and corporation [or societies] controlled or owned by the State Government:

Provided that if the State Government considers it expedient so to do for the purpose of facilitating transition to the scheme as envisaged by this Act, different dates may be so specified under this sub-section in respect of different classes of, or different categories under any class of, local or other authorities or corporations [or societies].

(3) Save as otherwise expressly provided in this Act, the Administrative Tribunal for a State shall also exercise, on and from the date with effect from which the provisions of this sub-section apply to any local or other authority or corporations [or society], all the jurisdiction, powers and authority exercisable immediately before that date by all courts (except the Supreme Court in relation to-

(a) recruitment, and matters concerning recruitment, to any service or post in connection with the affairs of such local or other authority or corporation [or society]; and

(b) all service matters concerning a person [other than a person referred to in clause (b) of sub-section (1) of this section or a member, person or civilian referred to in clause (b) of sub-section(1) or section 14] appointed to any service or post in connection with the affairs of such local or other authority or corporation [or society] and pertaining to the service of such person in connection with such affairs.

(4) For the removal of doubts, it is hereby declared that the jurisdiction, powers, and authority of the Administrative Tribunal for a State shall not extend to, or be exercisable in relation to, any matter in relation to which the jurisdiction, powers and authority of the Central Administrative Tribunal extends or is exercisable.
16. Jurisdiction, powers and authority of a Joint Administrative Tribunal –

A Joint Administrative Tribunal for two or more States shall exercise all the jurisdiction, powers and authority exercisable by the Administrative Tribunals for such States."

17. Power to punish for contempt

"A Tribunal shall have, and exercise, the same jurisdiction, powers and authority in respect of contempt of itself as a High Court has and may exercise and, for this purpose, the provisions of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 (70 of 1971) shall have effect subject to the modifications that –

(a) the reference therein to a High Court shall be constructed as including a reference to such Tribunal;

(b) the reference to the Advocate-General in section 15 of the said Act shall be construed, –

(i) in relation to the Central Administrative Tribunal, as a reference to the Attorney-General or the Solicitor-General or the Additional Solicitor-General; and

(ii) in relation to an Administrative Tribunal for a State or a Joint Administrative Tribunal for two or more States, as a reference to the Advocate-General of the State or any of the States for which such Tribunal has been established."

PROCEDURE

"19. Applications to Tribunals –

(1) Subject to the other provisions of this Act a person aggrieved by any order pertaining to any matter within the jurisdiction of a Tribunal may make an application to the Tribunal for the redressal of his grievance.

Explanation – For the purposes of this sub-section, “order” means an order made –

(a) by the Government or a local or other authority within the territory of India or under the control of the Government of India or by any corporation [or society] owned or controlled by the Government ; or

(b) by an officer, committee or other body or agency of the Government or a local or other authority or corporation [or society] referred to in clause (a).

(2) Every application under sub-section (1) shall be in such form and be accompanied by such documents or other evidence and by such fee (if any, not exceeding one hundred rupees) [in respect of the filing of such application and by such other fees for the service e or execution of processes, as may be prescribed by the Central Government].

[(3) On receipt of an application under sub-section (1), the Tribunal shall, if satisfied after such inquiry as it may deem necessary, that the application is a fit case for adjudication or trial by it, admit such application; but the Tribunal is not so satisfied, it may summarily reject the application after recording its reasons.]

(4) Where an application has been admitted by a Tribunal under sub-section (3), every proceeding under the relevant service rules as to redressal of grievances in relation to the subject-matter of such application pending immediately before such admission shall abate and save as otherwise directed by the Tribunal, no appeal or representation in relation to such matter shall thereafter be entertained under such rules.

20. Application not to be admitted unless other remedies exhausted –

(1) A Tribunal shall not ordinarily admit an application unless it is satisfied that the applicant had availed of all the remedies available to him under the relevant service rules as to redressal of grievances.

(2) For the purposes of sub-section (1), a person shall be deemed to have availed of all the remedies available to him under the relevant service rules as to redressal of grievances, –

(a) if a final order has been made by the Government or other authority or officer or other person competent to pass such order under such rules, rejecting any appeal preferred or representation made by such person in connection with the grievance; or

(b) where no final order has been made by the Government or other authority or officer or other person competent to pass such order with regard to the appeal preferred or representation made by such person, if a period of six months from the date on which such appeal was preferred or representation was made has expired.

(3) For the purposes of sub-sections (1) and (2), any remedy available to an applicant by way of submission of a memorial to the President or to the Governor of a State or to any other functionary shall not be deemed to be one of the remedies which are available unless the applicant had elected to submit such memorial."

21. Limitation

"(1) A Tribunal shall not admit an application, –

(a) in a case where a final order such as is mentioned in clause (a) of sub-section (2) of section 20 has been made in connection with the grievance unless the application is made, within one year from the date on which such final order has been made;

(b) in a case where an appeal or representation such as is mentioned in clause (b) of sub-section (2) of section 20 has been made and a period of six months had expired thereafter without such final order having been made, within one year from the date of expiry of the said period of six months.

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), where –

(a) the grievance in respect of which an application is made had arisen by reason of any order made at any time during the period of three years immediately preceding the date on which the jurisdiction, powers and authority of the Tribunal becomes exercisable under this Act in respect of the matter to which such order relates ; and

(b) no proceedings for the redressal of such grievance had been commenced before the said date before any High Court,

the application shall be entertained by the Tribunal if it is made within the period referred to in clause (a), or , as the case may be, clause (b), of sub-section (1) or within a period of six months from the said date, whichever period expires later.

(3) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1) or sub-section (2), an application may be admitted after the period of one year specified in clause (a) or clause (b) of sub-section (1) or, as the case may be, the period of six months specified in sub-section(2), if the applicant satisfies the Tribunal that he had sufficient cause for not making the application within such period."

22. Procedure and powers of Tribunals

"(1) A Tribunal shall not be bound by the procedure laid down in the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908) but shall be guided by the principles of natural justice and subject to the other provisions of this Act and of any rules made by the Central Government, the Tribunal shall have power to regulate its own procedure including the fixing of places and times of its inquiry and deciding whether to sit in public or in private.

(2) A Tribunal shall decide every application made to it as expeditiously as possible and ordinarily every application shall be decided on a perusal of documents and written representations and [after hearing such oral arguments as may be advanced].

(3) A Tribunal shall have, for the purposes of [discharging its functions under this Act], the same powers as are vested in a civil court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908) while trying a suit, in respect of the following matters, namely :-

(a) summoning and enforcing the attendance of any person and examining him on oath;
(b) requiring the discovery and production of documents;
(c) receiving evidence of affidavits;
(d) subject to the provisions of sections 123 and 124 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 (1 of 1872) requisitioning and public record or document or copy of such record or document from any office;
(e) issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses or documents;
(f) reviewing its decisions;
(g) dismissing a representation for default or deciding it ex- parte;
(h) setting aside any order of dismissal of any representation fro default or any order passed by it ex-parte ; and
(i) any other matter which may be prescribed by the Central Government.

23. Right of applicant to take assistance of legal practitioner and of Government, etc., to appoint presenting officers –

(1) A person making an application to a Tribunal under this Act may either appear in person or take the assistance of a legal practitioner of his choice to present his case before the Tribunal.

(2) The Central Government or a State Government or a local or other authority or corporation [or society], to which the provisions of sub-section (3) of section 14 or sub-section (3) of section 15 apply, [may authorize one or more legal practitioners or any of its officers to act as presenting officers and every person so authorized by it may present its case with respect to any application before a Tribunal]."

24. Conditions as to making of interim orders

Notwithstanding anything contained in any other provisions of this Act or in any other law for the time being in force, no interim order (whether by way of injunction or stay in any other manner) shall be made on, or in any proceedings relating to, an application unless –

(a) copies of such application and of all documents in support of the plea for such interim order are furnished to the party against whom such application is made or proposed to be made; and

(b) opportunity is given to such party to be heard in the matter.

Provided that a Tribunal may dispense with the requirements of clauses (a) and (b) make an interim order as on exceptional measure if it is satisfied, for reasons to be recorded in writing, that it is necessary so to do for preventing any loss being caused to the applicant which cannot be adequately compensated in money but any such interim order shall, if it is not sooner vacated, cease to have effect on the expiry of a period of fourteen days from the date on which it is made unless the said requirements have been complied with before the expiry of that period and the Tribunal has continued the operation of the interim order."

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