This case was listed before this Court in terms of the order passed by the Chairperson on 03.10.2013. A prayer was made by the respondents for vacation of the interim order dated 7th May, 2013. No orders were passed on the said date in view of the fact that the petitioner was not present. The matter was listed on 05.02.2014. On 05.02.2014 also, the petitioner was not present. It was observed in the order dated 05.02.2014 that despite the service of notice on the petitioner, he was not present. An application was moved by the petitioner to the Principal Registrar, AFT, Principal Bench, New Delhi requesting for adjournment of the matter. While seeking adjournment, the petitioner sought intervention of the Court on the following counts:
(a) Temporary duty move sanction from Guwahati to Delhi and back or
(b) Attachment to Delhi by MS Branch, or
(c) Grant of leavy by GOC 51 Sub Area.
The prayer was declined by this Court and he was advised to seek redressal from the concerned authority in this behalf. It was also observed that once the notice has been issued to the petitioner, he is bound to appear personally or through his counsel. He was granted one more opportunity to appear on 18.02.2014. He did not appear on that date also. Therefore, the matter is listed today. Today also, the petitioner is not present and has sent a communication for adjournment of the case on the ground that his prayer for grant of leave to GOC 51 Sub Area to attend the hearing in person has not been responded by the respondents.
The respondents have opposed the adjournment on the ground that the petitioner has obtained an interim direction as a result of which one vacancy of Brigadier in JAG Branch has remained unfilled.
It appears that the Tribunal at Guwahati had passed the interim direction on 22.02.2013 directing the respondents to dispose of the representation dated 10.04.2012 and statutory complaints dated 11.04.2012 and 24.02.2012. It was further ordered that in the meanwhile no selection in JAGs Department from the 1987 batch shall be made.
It further appears that the representations of the petitioner was disposed off on 28.02. 2013 and 08.03.2013 respectively. Thereafter a Board was held on 12/13.03.2013. The petitioner filed a contempt application no. 2/2013 before the Guwahati Bench of the Tribunal. The Tribunal vide order dated 07.05.2013, while issuing notice on the contempt application, directed that one vacancy as per the select list shall not be filled up. After the interim
direction was passed, one Member (A) showed his unwillingness to hear the matter. As a result of which, the same was referred to the Chairperson for constituting a Bench at Guwahati.
The petitioner, despite the notices being served on him, has not appeared. No body on his behalf has appeared and made any prayer for adjournment. As such, the communication sent by the petitioner to this Court requesting for adjournment of the hearing is on account of previously stated grounds i.e. temporary duty move sanction from Guwahati to Delhi and back or attachment to Delhi by MS Branch, or grant of leave by GOC 51 Sub Area and he has sought intervention of the Court. This Court could not pass any such direction and the petitioner was directed to approach the concerned authority. He did not appear on 18.02.2014 and today he has sent a communication for adjournment of the case. The petitioner is neither present himself nor his counsel. Be that as it may, the fact remains that the petitioner has been informed regarding pendency of the case and notices have been served upon him. On the other hand, the respondents are pressing hard for vacation of the interim direction. The contention of the respondents is that the interim direction has been passed on contempt application. Whether any such direction can be passed in contempt application is a matter which has been settled by the Honble Apex Court, therefore, we would not like to comment on this issue at this stage. By keeping one vacancy unfilled is causing administrative inconvenience to the respondents without any benefit to the petitioner.
Looking to the facts and circumstances of the case, we vacate the interim order dated 07.05.2013 passed by the Guwahati Bench of the Tribunal. The respondents will be free to fill up the vacancy in accordance with the Rules which shall be subject to the outcome of the petition.
List the matter on 07.04.2014.