New Delhi: The ongoing selection process for
additional secretaries in various departments of the Law and
Justice Ministry has come under cloud with the CAT making its
outcome subject to its verdict on a plea alleging breach of
rules in the selection exercise.
The Central Administrative Tribunal subjected the outcome
of the selection process to its verdict on a plea against it,
saying, "In-depth questions of law are involved in this case.
"After hearing the counsel for applicant and perusing the
entire facts of the case, we are of the opinion that there are
in-depth questions of law involved in this case and it will be
just and appropriate to adjudicate the matter...," said a
bench of CAT`s Acting Chairman S C Sharma and Member Ramesh
While making crucial observations, the CAT also said
"the result of the selection shall be subject to the ultimate
outcome of the Original Application (OA plea)" against the
breach of rules and procedures in the selection process.
The bench made the observation, while admitting a common
plea by a joint secretary-level officer of the Law Ministry
and the association of Indian Legal Service officers, who man
crucial posts of the law ministry`s various departments,
including the Legislative Department, Legal Affair Department,
the Law Commission etc.
The common plea, filed by the Legislative Department`s
Joint Secretary-cum-Legislative Counsel P B Singh and the ILS
officers` association, alleged that a selection-cum-search
committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary had held a "farcical
personal interview/interaction to pick and choose persons by
inviting the joint secretaries of the ministry" on March 12
The CAT`s direction came on a plea by Singh, who too had
participated in the interview, saying he "too had to attend
the glaring illegal personal interaction on March 12, 2012."
Pointing out the alleged illegalities in the selection
process, Singh said the interview/interaction had been held
without "preparing and finalising" any common seniority list
of joint secretary level ILS officers of the ministry, as
mandated by an April 1989 regulation of the Department of
Personnel and Training.
Singh`s petition said, "The April 1989 DOPT instructions
bar carrying out personal interview unless it has been
specifically provided for in the recruitment rules for the
It further said even the DOPT`s September 1999 order for
"constituting search-cum-selection committee for selection of
person for the post of additional secretaries does not
contemplate holding interview/personal interaction."
Admitting Singh`s petition, the CAT has issued notices
among others to the Cabinet Secretary and the DOPT secretary,
besides those of the law ministry`s Legislative and the Legal
Affairs departments and has sought their stands within four