Central Administrative Tribunal

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Central Administrative Tribunal: Laws, Benches, and its Composition

Updated on December 13, 2023 05:25:13 AM

The establishment of such Administrative Tribunals to deal exclusively with service matters was expected to go a long way toward not only reducing the burden on the various Courts and thus giving them more time to deal with other cases, but also providing quick relief to those covered by the Administrative Tribunals. This was the motive of setting up such a tribunal. To know in detail about the Tribunal, Central Administrative Tribunal, its Benches, and history of Central Administrative Act, 1985 read it thoroughly.

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What is the Central Administrative Tribunal?

“The Central Administrative Tribunal had been established under Article 323 - A of the Constitution for adjudication of disputes and complaints 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 authorities under the control of the Government.”

It is the correct definition of the Central Administrative Tribunal in actual terms. However, the vast majority of us find it difficult to understand. So, to make it easier to grasp, a modified version of this definition may look like this:

The Central Administrative Tribunal is a body formed to give formal judgement on concerns related to public service conditions and recruitment. Some people might have confusion in understanding the concept of tribunals and may take it into account similar to court. But both of them are different. Later on in the topic, we will go through this in further detail. But first we should have a look at the benefits of establishing such a body.

Benefits of Central Administrative Tribunal

There are many advantages that CAT (Central Administrative Tribunal) has brought in the judicial system of India. Some of the most significant advantages of Central Administrative Tribunal are listed below:

  1. The introduction of administrative tribunals gave India's judicial system more flexibility and versatility. Unlike the strict and inflexible procedures of a regular court, administrative tribunals follow a more relaxed and informal approach.
  2. The administrative tribunal's main goal is to provide speedy justice. Because the procedure is not incredibly complex, decisions will be made swiftly and efficiently.
  3. In comparison to ordinary courts, Administrative Tribunals take less time to resolve matters. As a result, the costs are lower.
  4. The administrative adjudication system has reduced the burden of cases on conventional courts.
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Laws related to Central Administrative Tribunal

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Tribunals were not included in the original constitution but the 42nd Amendment Act of 1976 brought them into the Indian Constitution. They were enacted under article 323 B and 323 A of the Constitution.

‘Article 323 B’ deals with tribunal for other matters.

‘Article 323 A’ deals with an administrative tribunal. It provides the parliament the authority to create administrative tribunals. This empowers the central government to create a central administrative tribunal as well as a state administrative tribunal.

Administrative Tribunal Act, 1985

Administrative Tribunals were established by a law passed by Parliament in 1985, the Administrative Tribunals Act, which was based on Article 323 A of the Constitution. The Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985 provides for three types of tribunals:

  1. Central Administrative Tribunal
  2. State Administrative Tribunal on the receipt of request from any of the respective states.
  3. Joint Administrative Tribunal for which any two states can ask combinely

Difference between Court and Tribunal

Court Tribunal
1 The court is a judicial entity that is formed by the constitution to dispense justice and is governed by law. Tribunals mean the body of members who are elected to settle the controversies arising under certain special matters.
2 Judgement, Decree, or Conviction is the name for the decision by the court Award is a word used to describe decisions by a Tribunal.
3 Courts deal with all types of cases. While tribunals are formed to deal with specific matters
4 Court follows a proper code of procedure. Whereas Tribunal doesn’t follow any fixed code of procedure.

Composition of Central Administrative Tribunal

Section 4 of the Administrative Act of 1985 specifies the structure of the courts and the bench. A tribunal must have a chairman, vice-chairman, judicial, and administrative members. Each bench shall have at least one judge and one administrative member.

The Chairman, Vice-Chairman, and other members of the Tribunal are appointed by the President. The President appoints judicial members as well, but only after consulting with the Chief Justice of India. The President appoints the Chairman, Vice-Chairman, and other members of the State Tribunal after consulting with the governor of the state in question.

Eligibility of Members of CAT (Central Administrative Tribunal)

A person is or

- has been a judge of a High Court or has held the office of Vice Chairman for two years or

- has held the post of secretary to the Government of India or

- has held any other post carrying the scale pay of a secretary.


A person is or

- has been a judge of the High Court or has held the post of Secretary to the Government for 2 years or

- holding any other post carrying the same pay scale under the Central or State Governments or

- has held the post of an Additional Secretary to the Government of India for 5 years or any other post carrying the scales of pay of Additional Secretary.

Judicial Member

Judicial Member

- have been a judge of the High Court or have been a member of Indian Legal Service and have held a post in Grade I of the service for at least 3 years.

Administrative Member

A person must have

- held the post of an Additional Secretary to the Government of India or another equivalent post for at least 2 years, or

- have held the post of a Joint Secretary to the Government of India or other equivalent post, or have adequate administrative experience.

Benches And Their Jurisdictions

Bench Jurisdiction
1 New Delhi (Principal Bench) NCT Delhi
2 Ahmedabad Bench State of Gujarat
3 Allahabad Bench State of Uttar Pradesh (Excluding those covered in Lucknow Bench) and Uttaranchal
4 Lucknow Bench Districts of Lucknow, Hardoi, Kheri, Raebareli, Sitapur, Unnao, Faizabad, Ambedkar Nagar, Baharaich, Shravasti, Barabanki, Gonda, Balrampur, Pratapgarh, Sultanpur in the state of Uttar Pradesh.
5 Bangalore State of Karnataka
6 Calcutta State of Sikkim, West Bengal, and UT Andaman and Nicobar Islands
7 Chandigarh State of J&K, Haryana, HImachal Pradesh, Punjab, and UT Chandigarh
8 Cuttack State of Orissa
9 Ernakulam Bench State of Kerala and UT Lakshadweep
10 Guwahati Bench State of Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh,and Mizoram
11 Hyderabad Bench State of Andhra Pradesh
12 Jabalpur Bench State of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh
13 Jodhpur Bench State of Rajasthan excluding the Districts mentioned against Number 14 under the jurisdiction of Jaipur Bench
14 Jaipur Bench District of Ajmer, Alwar, Baran, Bharatpur, Bundi, Dausa, Dholpur, Jaipur, Jhalawar, Jhunjhunu, Kota, Sawai Madhopur, Sikar, Tonk and Karauli in the state of Rajasthan
15 Chennai Bench State of Tamil Nadu and UT Pondicherry
16 Mumbai Bench State of Maharashtra and Goa, UT Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu
17 Patna Bench State of Bihar and Jharkhand

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Frequently Asked Questions

 What is the function of the Central Administrative Tribunal?

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 How many Central Administrative Tribunals are there in India?

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