Home Judgments & Orders Kerala High Court Kerala High Court Extends Term Of Judicial Members Of Kerala Administrative Tribunal

Kerala High Court Extends Term Of Judicial Members Of Kerala Administrative Tribunal

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The Kerala High Court on Thursday allowed the continuation of the further term of the present Judicial Members till the appointment of the Chairman or till replacement of them by new members, whichever is earlier. The present members permitted to hold the office only upto the age of 65 years.

The Court was hearing a writ petition filed by the petitioners seeking a writ of mandamus for the expeditious conclusion of the proceedings for the appointment of the Chairman of KAT. Prayers have also been sought to take steps to fill the anticipated vacancies of the Judicial Members.

The office of the Chairman of KAT is vacant since 15/9/2020 onwards. The recommendation to appoint the Chairman is pending with the Central Government.

A Division Bench of Justices A Muhamed Mustaque and Kauser Edappagath observed ;

“It is common knowledge that a Tribunal dealing with service matters cannot function without sufficient number of members. We cannot remain oblivious to the plight of the litigants also. If the present situation is allowed to continue, it will result in collapse of justice delivery system.”

The bench further stated that the role of the Court in such a situation is to invoke the most pertinent ideal Rule of law, and to control over uncertainty created. Access to justice is not mere Constitutional ideal, it forms part of the fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 14 and 21 of the Constitution {See Constitution Bench judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Anita Kushwah v. Pushap Sadan [(2016) 8 SCC 509]}. This Court cannot lose sight the dimension of Articles 14 and 21 while issuing such directions in these cases.

The Court has directed the present Judicial Members of KAT to continue the further term of the present Judicial Members is till the appointment of the Chairman or till replacement of them by new members, whichever is earlier.

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