Supreme Court won’t entertain extension of tenure for Presiding Officers at Tribunals

The Supreme Court expressed displeasure at Presiding Officers of Tribunals approaching it to seek an extension.

A writ petition was filed by Narinder Nath Khanna, Presiding Officer, DRT-1, Kolkata seeking for an extension of tenure. It was pleaded that the 2020 rules of the Tribunals provide for a tenure of 5 years or until the age of 67 years and that some similarly-situated officers have been granted an extension by the government.

A Bench headed by Justice L.Nageswara Rao expressed his displeasure and stated “how can Presiding Officers come to the Court for an extension? This is not an ordinary employment that they can come to the court seeking an extension”.

While rejecting this plea, the Bench referred to a judgement of the Madras Bar Association decided on November 27th which stated that : The Chairpersons, Vice Chairpersons and members of the Tribunals appointed prior to 12th February 2020 shall be governed by the parent statutes and Rules as per which they were appointed.

The Bench stated, “We won’t entertain this plea, approach the Government”, and thereby granted liberty to the petitioner to make a representation to the government in this behalf.

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