G. E. Veerabhadrappa vs. UOI (Bombay High Court)

DATE: (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: July 3, 2013 (Date of publication)

Click here to download the judgement (GEVeerabhadrappa_High_Court.pdf)

Challenge to removal of ITAT President admitted but no interim relief granted

Shri. G. E. Veerabhadrappa, the senior-most Vice President of the Tribunal, was vide order dated 13.10.2011 appointed President of the Tribunal in an “officiating capacity till the post was filled up on regular basis“. Vide notification dated 5.5.2012 the said order was modified to read “in an officiating capacity up to 31.8.2012 or further orders“. On 31.8.2012, Shri. H. L. Karwa (the junior-most Vice President) was appointed the President in place of Shri. G. E. Veerabhadrappa. Shri. Veerabhadrappa was thereafter transferred on 7.11.2012 to Calcutta. Shri. Veerabhadrappa filed a Petition before the Central Administrative Tribunal (“CAT”) claiming that (i) the curtailment of the period of appointment till 31.8.2012 was unjustified, (ii) his removal from the post of President was actuated by “malice and personal vendetta” of the Law Secretary owing to his refusal to cancel the transfers of Shri. Hari Om Maratha and Smt. Diva Singh and (ii) the appointment of Shri. H. L. Karwa as President was irregular as found by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet. The Law Ministry opposed the Petition on the ground that there were complaints regarding integrity and that the decision was taken at the highest level after “due consideration”. The CAT dismissed the Petition and Shri. Veerabhadrappa filed an appeal to the High Court. HELD by the High Court admitting the appeal but refusing interim stay:

The only interim relief which is prayed for is for stay of the operation of the impugned order of the CAT. As the Petitioner did not challenge the order dated 5.5.2012 and as on 31.8.2012 Shri. H. L. Karwa took over the charge of the post of the President and continues to hold the charge of the post till today and as the appointment of Shri. Veerabhadrappa was purely adhoc, it is not a fit case to grant interim relief. Prayer for interim relief is rejected.

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