Thursday, May 29, 2014

vice-Presidents of ITAT is to be appointed on basis of merits without considering seniority of candidates

vice-President of ITAT is to be appointed on merits as per under Rule 7C of ITAT Members (Recruitment and conditions of service rules), 1963 rather on basis of seniority of candidates


a)The Central government had appointed four vice-Presidents of ITAT on recommendation of Selection Committee.

b)The Committee selected the candidates on the basis merit by considering the Annual Confidential Report (ACRs) of the candidates.

c)Two senior judicial members of ITAT had filed appeal before Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) contending that Selection Committee had overlooked their seniority while selecting candidates for the post of vice-President. The CAT had rejected their appeal, thus, they filed the instant writ.

The High Court held as under:

a)Rule 7C of ITAT Members (Recruitment and conditions of service rules), 1963 prescribes the constitution of Selection Committee to recommend person for appointment as President, senior vice-President and vice-President. It clearly provides for the appointment on basis of merit rather than on basis of seniority. As rule 7C was the sole guiding principle in the instant case, one could not be depart from it.

b)Selection of candidates on the basis of their ACRs was justified as Rule 7C mandatorily prescribes ‘merit’ as criteria for selection and Selection Committee had the discretion to decide what constituted ‘merit’ for the purpose of appointing individual to the post of vice-President.

c)Thus, Selection Committee had rightly made appointment of candidates to the post of vice-Presidents of ITAT on basis of merits without considering their seniority. d)Further, to allay any future apprehensions, the Central Government is required to frame certain guidelines applicable to future cases to make this decision making process fairer and reasonable-R.P. Tolani v. Union of India [2014] 45 444 (Delhi)