In news: Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT)

  • The Allahabad High Court clarified appeal authority over orders issued by the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) in contempt cases.
  • The court determined that appeals against CAT contempt rulings must be made exclusively with the Supreme Court under Section 19 of the Contempt of Courts Act of 1971.

What is the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT)?

  • The CAT is a specialised quasi-judicial body in India, formed under Article 323-A of the Indian Constitution.
  • Its principal role is to resolve disputes and complaints about government employee recruiting and service conditions.
  • CAT was established to provide a quick and inexpensive redress to government employees in situations relating to their service conditions and employment disputes. 

Establishment of CAT:

  • The Administrative Tribunals Act of 1985 authorises the national government to establish both the national Administrative Tribunal and State Administrative Tribunals.
  • There are 17 Benches and 21 Circuit Benches in the Central Administrative Tribunal in India.

Jurisdiction of CAT:

CAT’s jurisdiction and process differ from that of conventional courts.It has authority only over service matters involving the parties listed by the Act.

CAT has authority over all service matters involving the following:

  1. Member of any All-India Service.
  2. A person appointed to any civil service or civil post under the Union.
  3. A civilian appointed to any defence services or a post related to defence. 

Services NOT Covered:

The following members are NOT covered under the jurisdiction of CAT:

  1. Defence forces, Officers,
  2. Staff of the Supreme Court and
  3. Secretarial staff of the Parliament.


  • The CAT bases its decision-making on natural justice grounds and is not limited by the Civil Procedure Code.
  • It has the authority to establish its own rules of procedure and practice.
  • Section 17 of the Administrative Tribunal Act of 1985 grants the Tribunal the same jurisdiction and authority as a High Court in cases of self-contempt.


  • The CAT consists of a chairman, a vice-chairman, and additional members chosen by the President of India.
  • Members of the CAT come from both the judicial and administrative professions.
  • The term of office is 5 years or until the age of 65 for the chairman and vice-chairmen; 62 years for members, whichever comes first.
  • In between terms of office, the chairman, vice-chairman, or any other member may resign by writing to the President.

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