HC issues directive to Cabinet panel on KAT chairman post

A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court has directed the appointment committee of the Cabinet to take a call in three weeks on the recommendation given by the State government on the appointment of chairman, Kerala Administrative Tribunal (KAT).

The Bench comprising Justice A. Muhamed Mustaque and Justice Kauser Edappagath passed the directive recently on a writ petition filed by Kerala Administrative Tribunal Ernakulam Advocates’ Association and a lawyer. According to them, the functioning of KAT would grind to a halt because of the delay in appointing the chairman. The State government had already forwarded the recommendation to the Cabinet appointment committee for approval. T.R. Ramachandran Nair, chairman, and Somasundaran, administrative member, had completed their tenure on September 15, 2020 and May 26, 2021 respectively. The tenure of two other judicial members — Benny Gervacis and V. Rajendran — would end on July 19, 2021.

The court observed that an expeditious decision was required as the entire functioning of the KAT would come to a halt with the two judicial members retiring in July. Any selection process for appointment of administrative members would be subject to the outcome of the writ petition, the court said.

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