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Report No. 162

4.11. Disposal of cases on the basis of arguments filed by the parties even through the post.-

Towards achieving the objectives of easy accessibility/ openness, under section 19 of the Central Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985, an application can be filed by a party even through the post (Rule 4 of the Central Administrative Tribunal (Procedure) Rules, 1987). It follows that if notice is issued by CAT/SAT or the proposed forum the opposite party may be allowed to send his reply even through post and it can also be laid down that the applicant can file his rejoinder to the reply in the same manner.

Similarly, the applicant should be permitted to file his written arguments/ briefs with precedents on the analogy of the recommendation of the Law Commission of India in its 125th report on The Supreme Court - A fresh look, para. 4.18 as follows:-

"4.18 Therefore, it is now inevitable that this reverential approach to oral arguments must yield to the necessities of time. There are a number of cases which can be identified by the Chief Justice of India in which oral arguments can be totally dispensed with. Petitions for special leave which can be admitted without oral arguments need not be listed in court but must be admitted by circulation.... The Courts must be empowered to dispense with oral arguments Sand insist upon written briefs."

The proposed research officers may assist the Tribunal in disposing of the case on the basis of the written briefs received.

This practice of making written submissions will at least take care of holding favourable attitude against a particular lawyer and save tribunal's time.

Above-all, it may be necessary to circulate for information of all the members of the Tribunals, the effect of not following the judgment of the Higher Court, especially when attention was drawn by the party in the written brief. The effect is it leads to contempt of Court as held in Shri Baradakanta Mishra v. Shri Bhimsen Dixit, AIR 1972 SC 2466:-

"15-16. any deliberate and mala-fide conduct of not following the law laid down in the previous decision undermines the constitutional authority and respect of the High Court .....It is ....also likely to subvert the Rule of law and engender harassing uncertainty and confusion in the administration of law."

This recommendation will be a step in the direction of making the Tribunal Member accountable for his action if he violates the Rule of Law. It has been observed that litigants and their advocates many a time raise disputes before the superior courts that though a particular decision of the higher court was cited before the lower court, yet it failed to discuss the same in its judgment.

In order to advance the cause of the administration of justice so that the rule of law can be further strengthened, it is felt that it may be provided in the procedure followed by the tribunal that before the beginning of the arguments, both the parties be required to file their written arguments and counter arguments, if they desire to do so, and at the conclusion of the arguments both the parties be required to file a list of the cases cited by them before the tribunal during the course of the hearing.

Such a course will avoid the raising of any dispute on those issues as well as compel the presiding officer to adhere to the rule of law laid down by the superior court and avoid harassment to the litigants and confusion in the administration of law.

Review of functioning of Central Administrative Tribunal - Customs, Excise and Gold (Control) Appellate Tribunal and Income-Tax Appellate Tribunal Back

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