Revenue Secretary Vs. Syed Liaquath Peeran – 2007 (208) E.L.T. 331 (High Court – Madras)

The President is not the competent authority having no power to write Annual Confidential Report (ACRs) of the members of the Appellate Tribunal.

Facts- The Secretary (Revenue), Government of India has filed this Writ Petition praying for the issuance of writ of certiorari, to call for the records of the Tribunal in O.A. No. 763 of 2002 and quash the order, dated 18-7-2003 made therein. The brief facts which necessary for disposal of the Writ Petition, are as follows : The first respondent who was a practising advocate, selected and appointed as Member (Judicial) at Delhi Benches with effect from 24-4-1989. At the relevant time, the first respondent was working as Member (Judicial) of Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal at Chennai. According to the first respondent, Mr. Justice K. Sreedharan had occasion to visit to Chennai, and during the said visit, there was some misunderstanding in the arrangements made for the visiting President, that the first respondent had reservations in regard to arrangements, it appears to have caused some ill-feelings which were carried by the President. On the even of laying down the office of the President Mr. Justice K. Sreedharan appeared to have made an adverse, entry in the Confidential Report of the first respondent for the year 2000-2001 as follows :

(a) “Physically sound – Mentally seems abnormal”

(b) “No control of himself while sitting on Bench. Loose talk makes him repulsive to the other Members sitting on the Bench behaviour towards others is unpredictable.”

Held- The Hon’ble High Court held that as per the legal provision of law relating to Recruitment and Conditions of Service of the Members of the Appellate Tribunal and there is no provision of law enabling the President to write ACRs in respect of other Members of the Tribunal.  It is clear that no prescription has been made with regard to corresponding status and therefore, the President has not been given any supervisory power against the members of the Tribunal. Except a retired Judge is appointed as President, the conditions of service will be the same as are applicable to the serving Judge of the High Court, but no corresponding provision was made in respect of the members of the Tribunal. The only authority to take action is the Central Government. Having satisfied and agree with the findings of the Tribunal upholding that the President is not the competent authority having no power to write ACRs of the Members of the Appellate Tribunal and it is contrary to the provisions of the Service Law. Accordingly, the Writ Petition fails and the same is dismissed.

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