- The Delhi High Court has ruled that the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) can exercise the same jurisdiction and powers as a High Court in respect of its contempt proceedings.
- The case relates to the contempt case registered on the basis of a reference received by the Registrar General,Delhi High Court against a Supreme Court lawyer.
- The Court observed that Article 323A(2)(b) of the Constitution provided that an administrative tribunal constituted under Article 323A(1) was empowered to punish for contempt if the statute establishing it provided for the same.
- The High Court also referred to the Supreme Court verdict in its 2001 judgment which had held that Section 17 of the Administrative Tribunals Act,1985 confers jurisdiction on the CAT to punish for its contempt.
- CAT was established in 1985 under Section 29 of the Administrative Tribunals Act,1985.It is a multi-member body consisting of Chairman and members.The Chairman is normally a retired Chief Justice of the High Court.
- CAT adjudicates disputes with respect to recruitment and conditions of service of persons appointed to public services and posts in connection with the affairs of the Union or other local authorities within the territory of India or under the control of Government of India and for matters connected therewith.
- However,the provisions do not apply to members of paramilitary forces, armed forces of the Union, officers or employees of the Supreme Court, or to persons appointed to the Secretariat Staff of either House of Parliament or the Secretariat staff of State/Union Territory Legislatures.
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