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Current Affairs 29 February 2024

  1. Home Ministry declares  two factions of J&K Muslim Conference as Unlawful Association
  2. Air leak at International Space Station
  3. Delhi HC on Delay in bail bond acceptance
  4. India blocks China-led investment facilitation proposal at WTO
  5. Central Bureau of Investigation
  6. Delhi HC sets aside CAT’s decision


The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) recently banned two factions of the Muslim Conference, Jammu and Kashmir (MCJK), led by Abdul Ghani Bhat and Ghulam Nabi Sumji, respectively, as an “unlawful association under the anti-terror Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).


GS II: Polity and Governance

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What does a ‘ban’ on an organisation mean?
  2. What is a “terrorist” organisation?
  3. How is an organisation declared a terrorist organisation?
  4. What are the consequences of declaring an organisation a terrorist organisation?
  5. The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), 1967
  6. Unlawful Activities Prevention Amendment Bill, 2019

What does a ‘ban’ on an organisation mean?

  • The Unlawful Activities Prevention Act gives powers to the government to declare an organisation an “unlawful association” or a “terrorist organisation”, which is often colloquially described as a “ban” on the organisations.
  • Declaring an organisation a terrorist organisation has serious consequences in law, including criminalising its membership and the forfeiture of the property of the organisation.
  • Several resolutions of the United Nations Security Council starting from 1997 require member states
    • To take action against certain terrorists and terrorist organisations,
    • To freeze their assets and other economic resources,
    • To prevent their entry into or the transit through their territory,
    • To prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale, or transfer of arms and ammunition to those individuals or entities listed in the Schedule.

What is a “terrorist” organisation?

  • Section 2(m) of the UAPA defines “terrorist organisation” as an organisation listed in the Schedule to the UAPA, or an organisation operating under the same name as an organisation so listed in the Schedule.
    • Schedule 1 currently lists 42 organisations, including Hizb-Ul-Mujahideen, Babbar Khalsa International, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, among others as terrorist organisations.

How is an organisation declared a terrorist organisation?

  • Under Section 35 of the UAPA, the central government has powers to declare an organisation a terrorist organisation “only if it believes that it is involved in terrorism”.
  • The Schedule can be amended by the government to add or remove organisations from the list. The law states that an organisation shall be deemed to be involved in terrorism if it,
    • commits or participates in acts of terrorism, or
    • prepares for terrorism, or
    • promotes or encourages terrorism, or
    • is otherwise involved in terrorism.

What are the consequences of declaring an organisation a terrorist organisation?

  • The two crucial consequences of being declared a terrorist organisation is that
    • the funding of the organisation
    • the association of individuals with the organisation are criminalised
  • Section 38 of the UAPA requires a person who “associates himself, or professes to be associated, with a terrorist organisation with intention to further its activities, commits an offence relating to membership of a terrorist organisation” is punishable with imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years.
    • However, such individuals are exempted from the provision if they have been members before the organisation was declared a terrorist organisation and did not take part in any activities of the organisation at any time during its inclusion in the Schedule.
  • Section 20 of the UAPA prescribes punishment for being member of terrorist gang or organisation. It states: “Any person who is a member of a terrorist gang or a terrorist organisation, which is involved in terrorist act, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.”
  • Section 21 prescribes punishment for individuals holding proceeds of terrorism with imprisonment for a term which may extend to imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.
  • The UAPA under Section 24A also provides for forfeiture of proceeds of terrorism. The law states that even if the person is not convicted for being associated with a terrorist organisation, “proceeds of terrorism” can be forfeited to the Central Government or the State Government.

What is the recourse in law available to a terrorist organisation?

  • An application can be made to the central government to remove an organisation from the Schedule by the organisation itself or any person affected by inclusion of the organisation in the Schedule as a terrorist organisation.
  • A review committee is then appointed which is headed by a sitting or former judge of a High Court to “judicially review” the application.
  • The organisation will be removed if the review committee “considers that the decision to reject was flawed when considered in the light of the principles applicable on an application for judicial review”.

The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), 1967

  • The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) of 1967 is an upgrade on the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act TADA (which lapsed in 1995) and the Prevention of Terrorism Act – POTA (which was repealed in 2004).
  • Its main objective was to make powers available for dealing with activities directed against the integrity and sovereignty of India.
  • The National Integration Council appointed a Committee on National Integration and Regionalisation to look into, the aspect of putting reasonable restrictions in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India.
  • The agenda of the NIC limited itself to communalism, casteism and regionalism and not terrorism.
  • However, the provisions of the UAPA Act contravenes the requirements of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Unlawful Activities Prevention Amendment Bill, 2019

  • The original Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967, dealt with “unlawful” acts related to secession; anti-terror provisions were introduced in 2004.
  • It provides special procedures to deal with terrorist activities, among other things.

Key Provisions of the Amendment

  • The Bill amends the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (UAPA) and additionally empowers the government to designate individuals as terrorists on the same grounds.
  • Under the Act, the central government may designate an organisation as a terrorist organisation if it:
    • commits or participates in acts of terrorism
    • prepares for terrorism
    • promotes terrorism
    • is otherwise involved in terrorism
  • The word “terror” or “terrorist” is not defined.
  • However, a “terrorist act” is defined as any act committed with the intent –
    • to threaten or likely to threaten the unity, integrity, security, economic security, or sovereignty of India
    • to strike terror or likely to strike terror in the people or any section of the people in India or in any foreign country
  • The central government may designate an individual as a terrorist through a notification in the official gazette.
  • The Bill empowers the officers of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), of the rank of Inspector or above, to investigate cases.
  • Under the Act, an investigating officer can seize properties that may be connected with terrorism with prior approval of the Director General of Police.

Issues with UAPA

  • UAPA gives the state authority vague powers to detain and arrest individuals who it believes to be indulged in terrorist activities. Thus, the state gives itself more powers vis-a-vis individual liberty guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution.
  • UAPA empowers the ruling government, under the garb of curbing terrorism, to impose indirect restriction on right of dissent which is detrimental for a developing democratic society. The right of dissent is a part and parcel of fundamental right to free speech and expression and therefore, cannot be abridged in any circumstances except for mentioned in Article 19 (2).
  • UAPA can also be thought of to go against the federal structure since it neglects the authority of state police in terrorism cases, given that ‘Police’ is a state subject under 7th schedule of Indian Constitution.

-Source: The Indian Express, The Hindu          


The Russian space officials recently confirmed the a continuing air leak from the Russian segment of the International Space Station.

However, they said that the air leak poses no danger to its crew.


GS-III Science and Technology: (Space Technology, Developments in Space technology)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What is a Space Station?
  2. International Space Station (ISS)
  3. What is Russia’s role in maintaining the ISS?

What is a Space Station?

  • A Space station is an artificial structure placed in orbit, having the pressurized enclosure, power, supplies, and environmental systems necessary to support human habitation for extended periods.
  • In simple words: a space station, also called an orbital station, is a large spacecraft or man-made station in space which can act as a home where astronauts live and/or receive several spacecrafts from the Earth and/or act as a kind of science lab, etc.
  • Depending on its configuration, a space station can serve as a base for a variety of activities.
    • These include observations of the Sun and other astronomical objects, study of Earth’s resources and environment, military reconnaissance, and long-term investigations of the behaviour of materials and biological systems—including human physiology and biochemistry—in a state of weightlessness, or microgravity.

How are space stations set up and how do they work?

Small space stations are launched fully assembled, but larger stations are sent up in modules and assembled in orbit. To make the most efficient use of its carrier vehicle’s capacity, a space station is launched vacant, and its crew members—and sometimes additional equipment—follow in separate vehicles. A space station’s operation, therefore, requires a transportation system to ferry crews and hardware and to replenish the propellant, air, water, food, and such other items as are consumed during routine operations. Space stations use large panels of solar cells and banks of storage batteries as their source of electrical power. They also employ geostationary relay satellites for continuous communication with mission controllers on the ground and satellite-based positioning systems for navigation.

How many Space Stations have we launched?

  • Since 1971, more than 10 space stations have been launched into a low orbit around Earth and have been occupied for varying lengths of time.
  • Important Space stations in chronological order are Salyut 1, Skylab, Salyuts 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7, Mir, the International Space Station, and Tiangong 1 and 2.

International Space Station (ISS)

  • The International Space Station (ISS) is a modular space station (habitable artificial satellite) in low Earth orbit.
  • The ISS program is a multi-national collaborative project between five participating space agencies: NASA (United States), Roscosmos (Russia), JAXA (Japan), ESA (Europe), and CSA (Canada).
  • The ownership and use of the space station is established by intergovernmental treaties and agreements.
  • The ISS serves as a microgravity and space environment research laboratory in which scientific experiments are conducted in astrobiology, astronomy, meteorology, physics, and other fields.
  • It is the largest artificial object in space and the largest satellite in low Earth orbit, regularly visible to the naked eye from Earth’s surface.
  • The ISS is the ninth space station to be inhabited by crews, following the Soviet and later Russian Salyut, Almaz, and Mir stations as well as Skylab from the US.

What is Russia’s role in maintaining the ISS?

  • The ISS is built with the co-operation of scientists from five international space agencies — NASA of the U.S., Roscosmos of Russia, JAXA of Japan, Canadian Space Agency and the European Space Agency.
  • Each agency has a role to play and a share in the upkeep of the ISS.
  • Both in terms of expense and effort, it is not a feat that a single country can support.
  • Russia’s part in the collaboration is the module responsible for making course corrections to the orbit of the ISS.
  • They also ferry astronauts to the ISS from the Earth and back.
  • Until SpaceX’s dragon spacecraft came into the picture the Russian spacecrafts were the only way of reaching the ISS and returning.

-Source: The Indian Express, The Hindu          


Recently, the Delhi High Court took suo motu cognisance of a petition pertaining to the delay in acceptance of bail bonds by jail superintendents.

The court observed that -‘Deprivation of liberty for single day is a day too many’.


GS paper-2: Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary – Ministries and Departments of the Government

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Bail in India: Overview and Types
  2. Types of Bail:
  3. What is liberty?
  4. Ideals of liberty:
  5. Negative and positive liberty:
  6. Constitutional Provisions:
  7. A Basic Principle of Personal Liberty: Bail, Not Jail
  8. The Root Cause of the Resistance to Release:

Bail in India: Overview and Types

  • Bail: Conditional/provisional release of a person held under legal custody, pledging to appear in court as required. It involves a security/collateral deposited before the court for release.
  • Principle: In the Supt. and Remembrancer of Legal Affairs v. Amiya Kumar Roy Choudhry (1973) case, the Calcutta High Court explained the principle behind granting bail.

Types of Bail:

Regular Bail:

  • Direction by any court to release a person already under arrest and in police custody.
  • Application filed under Sections 437 and 439 of the Code Of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), 1973.

Interim Bail:

  • Temporary and short-term bail granted by the court while the application for Anticipatory Bail or Regular Bail is pending.

Anticipatory Bail or Pre-arrest Bail:

  • Legal provision allowing an accused to seek bail before arrest.
  • Granted under Section 438 of the CrPC.
  • Issued by Sessions Court and High Court.
  • Discretionary, considering the nature of the offense, antecedents of the accused, and other factors.
  • Conditions may be imposed, like surrendering the passport or reporting to the police regularly.

Statutory Bail:

  • Distinct from bail under regular CrPC sections.
  • Granted when the police or investigating agency fails to file a report/complaint within a specified time (Section 167(2) of the CrPC).

What is liberty?

freedom is the absence of constraint and it allows the full development of the individual’s creativity, sensibilities and capabilities: be it in sports, science, art, music or exploration. Moreover, a free society is one that enables one to pursue one’s interests with a minimum of constraints.

Ideals of liberty:

The Preamble of Indian constitution well defined the ideals of liberty that are liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship.

  • Liberty of thoughts: It is fundamental to human being, so that they can develop free ideas and imagination about their life moreover they are free to take decisions as per their will without harming to others. Moreover it helps to develop new ideas and becomes the basis of scientific and cultural evolution.
  • Liberty of expression: John Stuart Mill gave four reasons to uphold liberty of expression:
    • No idea is completely false. What appears to us as false has an element of truth. If we ban ‘false’ ideas, we would lose that element of truth that they contain.
    • Truth does not emerge by itself. It is only through a conflict of opposing views that truth emerges. Ideas that seem wrong today may have been very valuable in the emergence of what we consider right kind of ideas.
    • Truth always runs the risk of being reduced to an unthinking cliché. It is only when we expose it to opposing views that we can be sure that this idea is trustworthy.
    • A society that completely suppresses all ideas that are not acceptable today, runs the danger of losing the benefits of what might turn out to be very valuable knowledge.
  • Liberty of belief, faith and worship: These fundamental values give sense of security to humans so that they can do religious practices as per their will.

Negative and positive liberty:

Negative liberty: it  seeks to define and defend an area in which the individual would be inviolable, in which he or she could ‘do, be or become’ whatever he or she wished to ‘do, be or become’. This is an area in which no external authority can interfere. It is a minimum area that is sacred and in which whatever the individual does, is not to be interfered with. It is an inviolable area of non-interference in which the individual can express himself or herself.

Positive liberty: Positive liberty recognises that one can be free only in society (not outside it) and hence tries to make that society such that it enables the development of the individual whereas negative liberty is only concerned with the inviolable area of non-interference and not with the conditions in society, outside this area, as such.

Challenges related to liberty: Liberty has two dimensions positive and negative liberty. Negative liberty defines the area which is inviolable and individual can enjoy absolute freedom and positive liberty defines the area of society in which individual should respects the rights of others.

  • State vs individual: Sometime in the name of national security, the state tries to curtail the individual liberty e.g. sometime the authority misuse the section 124A of IPC, which is related to sedition charges.
  • Aadhar Act:  The people share their personal information to authority. This information is directly related to individual dignity. Moreover authority can be misuse this information which is against the liberty.
  • State vs religion: Sometime, In the name of secularism, the state curtail the individual freedom e.g. the France govt banned the burkha. Which goes the rights of minority community.

Constitutional Provisions:

1: RIGHT TO FREEDOM (Indian constitution)

Art. 19 – Freedom of speech and expression, assembly, association, movement, residence, and profession.

Art. 20 – Protection in respect of conviction for offenses.

Art. 21 – Protection of life and personal liberty. Art. 21A – Right to elementary education.

Art. 22 – Protection against arrest and detention in certain cases.

A Basic Principle of Personal Liberty: Bail, Not Jail

  • Justice Krishna Iyer stated that the “basic rule” is “Bail, not Jail” almost fifty years ago.However, this fundamental principle of personal liberty has consistently been disregarded, resulting in the incarceration of common people, human rights activists, writers, educators, and even press reporters.
  • According to data provided by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), 4,27,165 of the total 5,54,034 prisoners were incarcerated as of December 31, 2021, meaning that more than four lakh accused were detained without bail while awaiting the start or conclusion of their trial.

The Root Cause of the Resistance to Release:

  • The higher judiciary is overrun with bail requests as a result of reluctance at the grassroots levels to grant bail, according to the Chief Justice of India (CJI), who made this statement in November 2022 while speaking at an event hosted by the Bar Council of India.
  • Despite Justice Iyer’s unambiguous statement from more than 50 years ago and the Supreme Court’s thorough instructions on arrest and bail in Satender Kumar Antil v. CBI, the basic principle of bail is frequently disregarded or rejected by the courts. In addition, even the Supreme Court is currently dealing with hundreds of bail applications and a sizable number of habeas corpus petitions.
  • The CJI stated in the Arnab Goswami case that “deprivation of liberty for a single day is a day too many,” so these are significant numbers.
  • The judiciary must show more empathy in order to address the problems that people facing trials face.
  • The need for greater transparency within the judicial system is also urgent.
  • The courts should think about ordering daily proceedings to speed up the legal process and avoid prison overcrowding. This will help the case move along smoothly and allow people to get justice quickly.

-Source: The Indian Express, The Hindu          



India, along with South Africa, successfully blocked a key proposal led by China at the World Trade Organisation.


GS III- Indian Economy

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Investment Facilitation Development Agreement (IFD)
  2. World Trade Organization (WTO)
  3. Functions of WTO
  4. What is the WTO’s Ministerial Conference?

About Investment Facilitation Development Agreement (IFD):

  • It is a WTO-negotiated agreement being discussed among the members.
  • The IFD, first proposed in 2017, aims to streamline investment procedures and facilitate cross-border investments, thus creating a more transparent, predictable, and streamlined environment for investors.
  • However, it has attracted criticism for potentially favoring countries heavily reliant on Chinese investments and those with sovereign wealth funds.
  • This is not the first time India has voiced its opposition to the IFD. The country previously blocked the proposal in December 2023 and at the WTO’s General Council Meeting.
  • What are the concerns?
    • However, India raised several concerns regarding the Investment Facilitation Development Agreement.
    • Firstly, India argued that the IFD falls outside the scope of the WTO, as it is not strictly a trade issue beyond the scope of the Marrakesh agreement.
    •  Secondly, India pointed out that the IFD does not fulfill the criteria for a formal agreement as it hasn’t received unanimous support from all WTO members, thus lacking the exclusive consensus required.
  • Hence, with India and South Africa’s objection, the IFD is unlikely to be adopted by the WTO in its current form.
  • This development could lead to further discussions and potential revisions to the agreement or its complete

World Trade Organization (WTO)

  • The World Trade Organization (WTO) is an intergovernmental organization that is concerned with the regulation of international trade between nations.
  • It is the largest international economic organization in the world.
  • The headquarters of the World Trade Organization is in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • The WTO deals with regulation of trade in goods, services and intellectual property between participating countries by providing a framework for negotiating trade agreements and a dispute resolution process aimed at enforcing participants’ adherence to WTO agreements, which are signed by representatives of member governments.
  • The WTO prohibits discrimination between trading partners, but provides exceptions for environmental protection, national security, and other important goals.
  • Trade-related disputes are resolved by independent judges at the WTO through a dispute resolution process.
  • The WTO has 164 members (including European Union) and 23 observer governments (like Iran, Iraq, Bhutan, Libya etc.)
  • India is a founder member of the 1947 GATT and its successor, the WTO.

Functions of WTO

  • Trade negotiations: The WTO agreements cover goods, services and intellectual property. They spell out the principles of liberalization, and the permitted exceptions. They set procedures for settling disputes.
  • Implementation and monitoring: WTO agreements require governments to make their trade policies transparent by notifying the WTO about laws in force and measures adopted. Various WTO councils and committees seek to ensure that these requirements are being followed and that WTO agreements are being properly implemented.
  • Dispute settlement: The WTO’s procedure for resolving trade quarrels under the Dispute Settlement Understanding is vital for enforcing the rules and therefore for ensuring that trade flows smoothly.
  • Building trade capacity: WTO agreements contain special provision for developing countries, including longer time periods to implement agreements and commitments, measures to increase their trading opportunities, and support to help them build their trade capacity, to handle disputes and to implement technical standards.
  • Outreach: The WTO maintains regular dialogue with non-governmental organizations, parliamentarians, other international organizations, the media and the general public on various aspects of the WTO and the ongoing Doha negotiations, with the aim of enhancing cooperation and increasing awareness of WTO activities.

What is the WTO’s Ministerial Conference?

  • The MC is at the very top of WTO’s organisational chart.
  • It meets once every two years and can take decisions on all matters under any multilateral trade agreement.
  • Unlike other organisations, such as the International Monetary Fund or World Bank, WTO does not delegate power to a board of directors or an organisational chief.
  • All decisions at the WTO are made collectively and through consensus among member countries at varied councils and committees.
  • This year’s conference took place in Geneva, Switzerland.  

-Source: The Indian Express, The Hindu, AIR     


Recently, the CBI has summoned Samajwadi Party President and former UP CM Akhilesh Yadav in an illegal mining case.


GS-II: Polity and Constitution, Governance

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)
  2. Functions of CBI
  3. Challenges of CBI

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)

  • The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was set up in 1963 after the recommendation of Santhanam committee under Ministry of Home affairs and was later transferred to the Ministry of Personnel and now it enjoys the status of an attached office.
  • Now, the CBI comes under the administrative control of the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) of the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions.
  • The CBI derives its powers from the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946, however, it is NOT a Statutory Body.
  • CBI is the apex anti-corruption body in the country – Along with being the main investigating agency of the Central Government it also provides assistance to the Central Vigilance Commission and Lokpal.
  • The CBI is required to obtain the prior approval of the Central Government before conducting any inquiry or investigation.
  • The CBI is also the nodal police agency in India which coordinates investigations on behalf of Interpol Member countries.
  • The CBI’s conviction rate is as high as 65 to 70% and it is comparable to the best investigation agencies in the world.
  • The CBI is headed by a Director and he is assisted by a special director or an additional director. It has joint directors, deputy inspector generals, superintendents of police.

CBI has following divisions

  • Anti-Corruption Division
  • Economic Offences Division
  • Special Crimes Division
  • Policy and International Police Cooperation Division
  • Administration Division
  • Directorate of Prosecution
  • Central Forensic Science Laboratory

How does the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) function in India?

Provision of Prior Permission:

  • The CBI is required to obtain prior approval from the Central Government before conducting an inquiry or investigation into an offense committed by officers of the rank of joint secretary and above in the Central Government and its authorities.
  • The Supreme Court, in 2014, declared Section 6A of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, which provided protection to joint secretary and above officers from facing preliminary inquiries by the CBI in corruption cases, as invalid and violative of Article 14.

General Consent Principle for CBI:

  • The state government can grant consent to the CBI on a case-specific basis or through a “general” consent.
  • General consent is usually given by states to facilitate seamless investigation of corruption cases involving central government employees within their states.
  • This consent is considered implicit, allowing the CBI to initiate investigations assuming consent has already been given.
  • Without general consent, the CBI would need to seek permission from the state government for each individual case, even for minor actions.

Challenges of CBI

  • The CBI has been dubbed a “caged parrot speaking in its master’s voice” by the Supreme Court of India due to excessive political influence in its operations. It has frequently been utilised by the government to conceal misdeeds, keep coalition allies in line, and keep political opponents at away. It has been accused of massive delays in concluding investigations, such as in its investigation into high-ranking Jain dignitaries in the Jain hawala diaries case [in the 1990s].
  • Loss of Credibility: Improving the agency’s image has been one of the most difficult challenges so far, as the agency has been chastised for its mishandling of several high-profile cases, including the Bofors scandal, the Hawala scandal, the Sant Singh Chatwal case, the Bhopal gas tragedy, and the 2008 Noida double murder case (Aarushi Talwar).
  • Lack of Accountability: CBI is exempt from the Right to Information Act, which means it is not accountable to the public.
  • Acute staff shortage: One of the key causes of the shortfall is the government’s mishandling of the CBI’s employees, which includes an inefficient and inexplicably biassed recruitment policy that was utilised to bring in favoured officials, possibly to the organization’s damage.
  • Limited Authority: Members of the CBI’s investigative powers and jurisdiction are subject to the consent of the State Government, restricting the scope of the CBI’s inquiry.
  • Restricted Access: Obtaining prior authorisation from the Central Government to initiate an inquiry or probe into Central Government workers at the level of Joint Secretary and above is a major impediment to tackling corruption at the highest levels of government.

-Source: The Indian Express, The Hindu          


The Delhi High Court recently  set aside an order issued by the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) regarding the procedure for taking action against senior IRS official Sameer Wankhede in connection with the drugs case.

  • The allegations were levelled against the IRS officer in the way he conducted the raid on Cordelia Cruise in 2021.


GS-II Governance

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. History behind the formation
  2. About CAT
  3. How does CAT Function?
  4. Jurisdiction of CAT

History behind the formation

  • The Administrative Reforms Commission (1966-70) recommended the setting up of civil service tribunals in India to function as final appellate authorities in respect of orders inflicting the major punishments of dismissal, removal from service and reduction in rank.
  • The Supreme Court in its judgement in 1980 observed that civil servants should not waste time in fighting battles in ordinary courts and suggested the establishment of such tribunals.
  • Article 323A of the Constitution provides for the setting up of administrative tribunals for adjudication of disputes in matters pertaining to recruitment and conditions of services of persons employed in public services.
  • Parliament passed a law to establish administrative tribunals in India.
  • The Act visualizes a Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) for the Centre and state administrative tribunal for a particular state.

About CAT:

  • The CAT was created by Administrative Tribunals Act in 1985.
  • It was established under Article 323A of the Constitution of India, By the 42nd Constitutional Act.
  • Hence, they are Constitutional Bodies. 

How does CAT Function?

  • It enjoys the status and power of High Court.
  • In disposing of cases, it follows the principles and norms of natural justice.
  • Appeals against its orders lie only with the Supreme Court of India.
  • The aggrieved person may appear before it personally.
  • It is a multi-member body whose members are drawn from judicial and administrative streams so as to give it the benefit of expertise legal as well as administrative fields.
  • The administrative tribunals deal exclusively with service litigation and are free from the formalities of legal technicalities.
  • The Central Administrative Tribunal (1985) has regular benches operating at the principal seats of High Courts.

Jurisdiction of CAT

The CAT exercises original jurisdiction over all service matters concerned with:

  1. Members of the all-India services.
  2. Persons appointed to any civil service of the Union or civil post under the Union.
  3. Civilians appointed to any defence services or posts related to defence.
  4. Employees of PSUs or public sector organisations notified by the government.

Members of the defence forces, officers, Supreme Court staff, the Parliament’s secretarial staff are not covered under the CAT.

How does an administrative tribunal differ from ordinary judicial court?

  • Legal counsel may not be needed in matters requiring adjustment;
  • A degree of informality which suits to the nature of issues involved;
  • Formal rules of evidence may not be observed;
  • Decisions may be reached by expert in the subject matter as well as in the law;
  • Differences in the constitution and procedure; and
  • Facts may be developed by question and answer and conclusion reached without delay.

-Source: The Indian Express, The Hindu          


April 2024