CHAPTER IV Procedure sec 19 to 27 The Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985
19. Applications to Tribunals .-(1) Subject to the other provisions of this Act, a person aggrieved by any order pertaining to any matter within the jurisdiction of a Tribunal may make an application to the Tribunal for the redressal of his grievance.
Explanation.-For the purposes of this sub-section, “order” means an order made-
(a) by the Government or a local or other authority within the territory of India or under the control of the Government of India or by any corporation [or society] owned or controlled by the Government; or
(b) by an officer, committee or other body or agency of the Government or a local or other authority or corporation [or society] referred to in clause (a).
(2) Every application under sub-section (1) shall be in such form and be accompanied by such documents or other evidence and by such fee (if any, not exceeding one hundred rupees) [in respect of the filing of such application and by such other fees for the service or execution of processes, as may be prescribed by the Central Government.]
[(3) On receipt of an application under sub-section (1), the Tribunal shall, if satisfied after such inquiry as it may deem necessary, that the application is a fit case for adjudication or trial by it, admit such application; but where the Tribunal is not so satisfied, it may summarily reject the application after recording its reasons.]
(4) Where an application has been admitted by a Tribunal under sub-section (3), every proceeding under the relevant service rules as to redressal of grievances in relation to the subject-matter of such application pending immediately before such admission shall abate and save as otherwise directed by the Tribunal, no appeal or representation in relation to such matter shall thereafter be entertained under such rules.
20. Applications not to be admitted unless other remedies exhausted .-(1) A Tribunal shall not ordinarily admit an application unless it is satisfied that the applicant had availed of all the remedies available to him under the relevant service rules as to redressal of grievances.(2) For the purposes of sub-section (1), a person shall be deemed to have availed of all the remedies available to him under the relevant service rules as to redressal of grievances,-
(a) if a final order has been made by the Government or other authority or officer or other person competent to pass such order under such rules, rejecting any appeal preferred or representation made by such person in connection with the grievance; or
(b) where no final order has been made by the Government or other authority or officer or other person competent to pass such order with regard to the appeal preferred or representation made by such person, if a period of six months from the date on which such appeal was preferred or representation was made has expired.
(3) For the purposes of sub-sections (1) and (2), any remedy available to an applicant by way of submission of a memorial to the President or to the Governor of a State or to any other functionary shall not be deemed to be one of the remedies which are available unless the applicant had elected to submit such memorial.
21. Limitation .-(1) A Tribunal shall not admit an application,-
(a) in a case where a final order such as is mentioned in clause (a) of sub-section (2) of section 20 has been made in connection with the grievance unless the application is made, within one year from the date on which such final order has been made;
(b) in a case where an appeal or representation such as is mentioned in clause (b) of sub-section (2) of section 20 has been made and a period of six months had expired thereafter without such final order having been made, within one year from the date of expiry of the said period of six months.
(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), where-
(a) the grievance in respect of which an application is made had arisen by reason of any order made at any time during the period of three years immediately preceding the date on which the jurisdiction, powers and authority of the Tribunal becomes exercisable under this Act in respect of the matter to which such order relates; and
(b) no proceedings for the redressal of such grievance had been commenced before the said date before any High Court, the application shall be entertained by the Tribunal if it is made within the period referred to in clause (a), or, as the case may be, clause (b), of sub-section (1) or within a period of six months from the said date, whichever period expires later.
(3) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1) or sub-section (2), an application may be admitted after the period of one year specified in clause (a) or clause (b) of sub-section (1) or, as the case may be, the period of six months specified in sub-section (2), if the applicant satisfies the Tribunal that he had sufficient cause for not making the application within such period.
22. Procedure and powers of Tribunals .-(1) A Tribunal shall not be bound by the procedure laid down in the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908), but shall be guided by the principles of natural justice and subject to the other provisions of this Act and of any rules made by the Central Government, the Tribunal shall have power to regulate its own procedure including the fixing of places and times of its inquiry and deciding whether to sit in public or in private.
(2) A Tribunal shall decide every application made to it as expeditiously as possible and ordinarily every application shall be decided on a perusal of documents and written representations and [after hearing such oral arguments as may be advanced.]
(3) A Tribunal shall have, for the purposes of [discharging its functions under this Act], the same powers as are vested in a Civil Court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908) while trying a suit, in respect of the following matters, namely:-
(a) summoning and enforcing the attendance of any person and examining him on oath;
(b) requiring the discovery and production of documents;
(c) receiving evidence of affidavits;
(d) subject to the provisions of sections 123 and 124 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 (1 of 1872) requisitioning any public record or document or copy of such record or document from any office;
(e) issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses or documents;
(f) reviewing its decisions;
(g) dismissing a representation for default or deciding it ex parte
(h) setting aside any order of dismissal of any representation for default or any order passed by it ex parte; and
(i) any other matter which may be prescribed by the Central Government.
23. Right of applicant to take assistance of legal practitioner and of Government, etc., to appoint presenting officers .-(1) A person making an application to a Tribunal under this Act may either appear in person or take the assistance of a legal practitioner of his choice to present his case before the Tribunal.
(2) The Central Government or a State Government or a local or other authority or corporation [or society], to which the provisions of sub-section (3) of section 14 or sub-section (3) of section 15 apply, [may authorise one or more legal practitioners or any of its officers to act as presenting officers and every person so authorised by it may present its case with respect to any application before a Tribunal.]
24. Conditions as to making of interim orders .-Notwithstanding anything contained in any other provisions of this Act or in any other law for the time being in force, no interim order (whether by way of injunction or stay or in any other manner) shall be made on, or in any proceedings relating to, an application unless-
(a) copies of such application and of all documents in support of the plea for such interim order are furnished to the party against whom such application is made or proposed to be made; and
(b) opportunity is given to such party to be heard in the matter:
Provided that a Tribunal may dispense with the requirements of clauses (a) and (b) and make an interim order as an exceptional measure if it is satisfied, for reasons to be recorded in writing, that it is necessary so to do for preventing any loss being caused to the applicant which cannot be adequately compensated in money but any such interim order shall, if it is not sooner vacated, cease to have effect on the expiry of a period of fourteen days from the date on which it is made unless the said requirements have been complied with before the expiry of that period and the Tribunal has continued the operation of the interim order.
25. Power of Chairman to transfer cases from one Bench to another .-On the application of any of the parties and after notice to the parties, and after hearing such of them as he may desire to be heard, or on his own motion without such notice, the Chairman may transfer any case pending before one Bench, for disposal, to any other Bench.]
26. Decision to be by majority .- If the Members of a Bench differ in opinion on any point, the point shall be decided according to the opinion of the majority, if there is a majority, but if the Members are equally divided, they shall state the point or points on which they differ, and make a reference to the Chairman who shall either hear the point or points himself or refer the case for hearing on such point or points by one or more of the other Members of the Tribunal and such point or points shall be decided according to the opinion of the majority of the Members of the Tribunal who have heard the case, including those who first heard it.
27. Execution of orders of a Tribunal .-Subject to the other provisions of this Act and the rules, [the order of a Tribunal finally disposing of an application or an appeal shall be final and shall not be called in question in any Court (including a High Court) and such order] shall be executed in the same manner in which any final order of the nature referred to in clause (a) of sub-section (2) or section 20 (whether or not such final order had actually been made) in respect of the grievance to which the application relates would have been executed.