New Delhi: The central government has been directed by the Delhi High Court to keep a post vacant for a Member of the Railway Claims Tribunal on the plea of a former Member (Judicial) who was not given re-appointment for the post last year.
"It is directed that the respondents (the Railway Ministry and the Tribunal) shall keep one post vacant, if available, till final outcome of the instant writ petition", Justice Suresh Kait said in an order while hearing a plea of Rajan Sharma challenging the government’s decision to appoint A B S Naidu as Member (Judicial) for the Tribunal.
The court said "the appointment of respondent no 3 (Naidu) shall be subject to the final outcome of the instant petition".
Sharma was appointed as Member (J) of the Tribunal from March 2005 for a tenure of five years during which he claimed to have disposed of over 1100 cases and over 700 miscellaneous applications.
Filing a petition through counsel R K Saini, Sharma said "action of the respondent 1 (Ministry of Railways) ignoring him from appointment as Member (J) is void, illegal and violative of Article 14, 16 and 21 of the Constitution".
According to the petition, following an advertisement in May last year, Sharma had applied for the post and was interviewed by the Selection Board comprising a Supreme Court judge, Chairman of Railway Board and Chairman of Tribunal and Secretary of Law Ministry.
Claiming that the selection list was approved by the Appointment Committee of the Cabinet headed by the Prime Minister, Sharma said 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.
Sharma further said the government ignored his application and appointed Naidu who was much junior to him.