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There cannot be different forums depending upon different stages of disciplinary proceedings: High Court of Delhi

It cannot be that depending upon the stage of inquiry, the jurisdiction would lie with CAT or with High Court. If post inquiry, the jurisdiction would be that of the High Court, it cannot be argued that pre-inquiry, the jurisdiction would be that of CAT. There cannot be different forums depending upon different stages of disciplinary proceedings.. This was held in UNION OF INDIA v. CHIKKAM VIJAY MOHAN [W.P.(C) 3583/2021] in the High Court of Delhi by a division bench consisting of JUSTICE RAJIV SAHAI ENDLAW and MR. JUSTICE AMIT BANSAL.

Facts are that the respondent was a member of the Judicial Service of the State of Andhra Pradesh who on attaining the age of superannuation of 60 years was notified to undertake the interim position of P.O, DRT, the notice period expired during the pendency of another recall petition filed by the respondent previously. The respondent later approached CAT by challenging the relieving order under which an interim relief was granted to continue service, the petitioner has filed a petition against the impugned order for lack of jurisdiction.

The Ld. ASG appearing on behalf of the Petitioner submitted that the presiding officers of DRT are appointed under provisions of DRT Act and thus their services are not governed by any of the Rules, to be subject matter for CAT to have jurisdiction. Placing reliance on Vijay Kumar Verma Vs. Union of India.

The counsel on behalf of the respondent submitted that the entire procedure with regard to the investigation of misbehavior or incapacity of P.O., DRT lies the control of the Central Government. Therefore, it cannot be said that the P.O. of a DRT would not beholder of a civil post under the Central Government.

The court made reference to the judgment delivered by the Supreme Court in Vijay Kumar Verma Vs. Union of India, wherein it had been observed that “ During the statutory tenure as a P.O., DRT, the P.O. was not in any civil service and nor was he holding any civil post. Therefore, in terms of Section 14 of the Administrative Tribunal Act, 1985, CAT did not have jurisdiction in the present case.”

Considering the facts of the petition and the precedents the court held that the P.O., DRT cannot be said to be holding a civil post under the Union and therefore, CAT did not have the jurisdiction to entertain the present O.A. Thus allowing the petition and setting aside the interim order passed by CAT.

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