The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to entertain a plea by Manjula Das, the former acting chairperson of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), alleging that the rules were not followed in appointing her successor on the panel.
Das, who was appointed the acting chairperson of the CAT in August 2021, was scheduled to demit office on September 29, 2022.
However, later, Justice Ranjit Vasantrao More, a former Chief Justice of the Meghalaya High Court, was appointed the chairperson of the principal bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal with effect from July 30, 2022. He will hold office till July 30, 2026.
Senior advocate C A Sundaram, appearing for Das, urged the bench of Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice P S Narasimha that “nothing has been taken into account” while appointing the CAT chairperson and that the statutory rules governing the appointment have not been followed.
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“The writ of quo warranto (a judicial order asking a person to show by what warrant an office or franchise is held) cannot be issued in such matters,” the bench said, expressing its disinclination to entertain the plea.
The senior lawyer then decided to withdraw the plea which alleged that Das was unfairly overlooked.
Before being appointed to CAT, Das was a prominent lawyer.