Action taken from Railway Administration side in reply to a plea in CAT
Actions taken by the Railway Administration (Personnel Branch)
- As soon as an application is filed before the CAT, arrangements will be made to receive application along with accompanying documents (Annexure) through the nominated Railway Advocate.
- Normally a Personnel Inspector is deputed to CAT in the forenoon every day.
The application can be opposed by the Administration at the admission stage itself inter-alia on the following grounds:
- Time limitation.
- Non exhaustion of the remedies available.
- Territorial jurisdiction of the Bench.
- Non impleading proper persons as respondents.
- Pendancy of similar dispute in any other Tribunal or court.
- Applicant is not eligible to approach CAT.
- Any other legal or administrative aspect.
Procedure of responding/Reply
- In terms of the Rule 12 of CAT(Procedure) Rules 1987, each respondent intending to contest the application shall file in triplicate the reply to application and the documents relied upon in paper-book form with the Registry within one month of service of notice of application with him.
- In reply the respondent has to specifically admit, deny or explain the facts stated by the applicant in his application and may also state such additional facts as may be necessary.
- A copy of the application along with the documents shall be served on the applicant or his lawyer and file proof of such service in the Registry.
- Tribunal may give extension for filing the reply also to the administration in some case.
- The Bench sometimes impose fine on the respondents for not filing the reply in time.
Preparation of Reply Statement
At the outset it should be examined if the O.A. can be contested on the following angles:
- The implications of allowing the prayer.
- Whether any extant orders of the Railway Board / Zonal Railway are violated.
- Whether the time, energy and money spent in defending the OA is worth the cause.
- If it is decided to contest, the reply should be prepared as soon as possible.
- Usually procedure followed is to prepare the parawise remarks along with brief history of the case by Personnel branch and send it to the legal wing where it is to be converted to legal parlance.
- After doing the necessary correction and signing , it sent to Railway Advocate for filing in CAT.
The points to be born in mind while preparing the reply statements
- All points given earlier by the Administration while opposing.
- Full history of the case.
- The facts should be indicated coherently, cogently and chronologically bring out as to how and why the relief sought by the applicant could not be allowed and its implications.
- The arguments against the grounds or points brought out by the applicant.
- Other similar cases decided in favour of the Administration by the same Tribunal or any judicial forum.
- If any case is cited in the OA, arguments as to how they are not relevant.
- If any orders of the Railway Board or Zonal Railways have been impleaded as respondent, then the draft reply statements shall be approved by CPO.
- Where in DAR or transfer case, the executive officer is impleaded as a respondent, the papers shall be shown to the branch officer and his approval obtained.
- Copies of all documents, rules, letters etc. quoted in the reply statement shall be enclosed as Annexures.
- Ensure that the Railway Advocate files the reply before the CAT and delivers immediately a copy to the advocate of the applicant.
- Gist of decisions in CAT cases published by Railway Board on various subjects can be made use of.
- In DAR cases, where the applicant has filed OA challenging the penalty without exhausting the remedies available to him should be brought out very clearly.
- In administrative transfers the circumstances under which transfer was ordered should be brought out very clearly.
- The tribunal is vested with the powers as a High Court to punish for contempt of court.
- The sentence for contempt can be imprisonment or fine. So utmost care shall be taken in processing the contempt proceedings.
- As soon as the contempt notice is received, all contemptors are to be informed by name at once.
- The reply statement approved by the contemptors and vetted by Law Officer and Railway Advocate shall be filed.
- The manner in which the orders of CAT are complied shall be brought out clearly.
- With increase in awareness and easy access to the Tribunal, cases in CAT are on the rise of late.
- CAT has become a powerful means for the Railway employee for a final remedy to his grievances.