Notice to railways, railway tribunal on former member’s plea

New Delhi, June 18 (IANS) The Delhi High Court has issued notice to the railway ministry and railway claims tribunal on the plea of a former member who was not re-appointed on it in 2011, and directed that a post be kept vacant on the tribunal till the case is decided.

Seeking response from the government and the tribunal, a division bench headed by Chief Justice D. Murugesan has asked them to file their replies by Aug 5.

The bench, in a recent judgment, further asked the ministry and the tribunal to keep one post vacant, if available, till the final outcome of the appeal filed by Rajan Sharma, who challenged a single judge’s order rejecting his plea against the decision to appoint A.B.S. Naidu as member (judicial) of the tribunal.

Advocate R.K. Saini, appearing for Sharma has contended: “Sharma was appointed as member (judicial) of the tribunal from March 2005 for a tenure of five years during which he disposed of over 1,100 cases and over 700 miscellaneous applications.”

Following an advertisement in May 2011, Sharma had again applied for the post and was interviewed by a selection board comprising a Supreme Court judge, the chairmen of the Railway Board and the tribunal and the law secretary, according to the petition.

Sharma claimed that the selection list was approved by the cabinet’s appointment committee, headed by the prime minister, but added that he was not appointed for the post on the ground that “there was no legal provision for re-appointment of a member for the tribunal”.

The government instead appointed Naidu, who was much junior to him, as the member (judicial), he added.

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