Bombay HC asks Central government to fill vacancies in Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal

Team SoOLEGAL 8 Aug 2023 1:36pm

Bombay HC asks Central government to fill vacancies in Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal

New Delhi: On Wednesday, the Bombay High Court directed the Central Government to take all necessary steps to fill vacancies on all Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal (MAT) benches by the first week of October 2023.

The Maharashtra government was called out by a Bench of Chief Justice DK Upadhya and Justice Arif Doctor for its laxity in sending a list of recommended candidates to the Central government for verification and approval.

The Court was informed that the tribunal has had four vacant positions since 2021, and that lists of recommended candidates were sent to the Central government in July of last year.

In response, the central government stated that the verification process would take three months to complete.

Taking this into account, the Bench stated in its order that it expected the Centre to complete the appointment process by the first week of October 2023.

The order was issued in response to a petition filed by Yogesh Morbale, an advocate from Kolhapur, Maharashtra, who complained about the tribunal's operation. His plea also emphasised a lack of funds allotted, as a result of which there were insufficient functional computers as well as technicians at the tribunal.

Advocates Dr. Uday Warunjikar, Yashodeep Deshmukh, and Vinod Sangvikar for the petitioner apprised the Court that a representation had been addressed to the State government seeking an infrastructure improvement. They stated “Bombay High Court is probably the only one in the country where there is a separate assignment for court infrastructure. It is also because of the friction between the executive and the judiciary. Whenever anything is required from the executive, we have to come to court.”

The Court was informed that the division benches of the MAT in Nagpur and Aurangabad were not functioning due to vacancies.

In light of this,, all division bench cases were transferred.

"The lack of video conference facilities prevents litigants from seeking redress of grievances." "The Registrar of MAT assured that he would take appropriate steps to ensure that these benches operate in hybrid mode," the Court noted. 

The Court instructed the government pleader to inform the relevant department that a stalled administrative tribunal was in no one's best interests.

“Please convey to the concerned department, an administrative tribunal coming to a standstill - for vacancies, or lack of infrastructure - is in nobody’s interest. There are matters pertaining to dues, appointments, etc. cannot come to a standstill."

Tagged: Bombay High Court  
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