New guidelines for hearing of cases by CAT in Green, Orange & Red Zones

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New Delhi:As directed by the Hon’ble Chairman, Central Administrative Tribunal, New Delhi, the following Notification is issued:

The functioning of the Principal Bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal and its other Benches across the Country was suspended in view of the lockdown announced by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India vide Orders dt: 24.03.2020 and the subsequent order of extension dt: 14.04.2020 till 03.05.2020. The MHA issued Order dt: 01.05.2020 providing guidelines for identification of the RED (hotspots), GREEN and ORANGE Zones, depending on the severity of COVID-19 cases and the nature of activities that are prohibited and permitted in the zones so declared. Taking these developments into account, the following instructions, as regards the functioning of the Central Administrative Tribunal, are issued:

Wherever the Benches/Courts are located in GREEN zones, they shall function duly following the guidelines that are issued by the MHA such as maintaining the Social Distance, making the sanitary arrangements and avoiding the direct contact. To the extent possible, the method of functioning of the High Courts in the concerned area shall be adopted. The Head of the Department (HoD) of the concerned Bench shall take decisions in this behalf in consultation with the President of the Bar Association. The feedback as to the convenience of the employees and their method of functioning shall be taken from the Registrar of the Bench. The decisions taken in this regard shall be forthwith forwarded to the Registry of the Principal Bench.

As regards the Benches that are in RED (lockdown areas) and ORANGE Zones, the cases of urgent nature can be filed through electronic mail service (e-mail) by contacting the Registrar of the concerned Bench, who in turn shall furnish the e-mail id to the intending Advocate or Party. If the Registry is satisfied that the OA is otherwise in order and needs to be dealt with urgently, the HoD of the Bench shall be informed of the same. The HoD in turn shall decide whether or not to take up the case. If it is proposed to hear the case, it shall be done through CISCO WEBEX online Video Conferencing Facility.

The details thereof shall be worked out by the HoD of the Benches in consultation with the Registry of the Principal Bench. It shall be ensured that the participants in the Video Conference put on the apparel or at least, are properly dressed.

If the Advocates of the Bar Association of such Benches are agreeable for hearing of pending cases through such mechanism, the cases shall be identified by the registry and hearing thereof shall take place through the same system in a time slot that may be decided by the HoD on daily basis.

This arrangement shall be in force till 17.05.2020 or until further orders.

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