In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) read with clauses (d), (e) and (f) of sub-section (2) of Section 35 of the Administrative Tribunal Act, 1985 (13 of 1985), the Central Government hereby makes the following rules, namely:-
WEST BENGAL ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL
(PROCEDURE) RULES, 1994
New Delhi, the 21st December, 1994
R.1. Short title and commencement.
- These rules may be called the West Bengal Administrative Tribunal (Procedure) Rules, 1994.
- They shall come into force on the day of their publication in the Official Gazette.
In these rules unless the context otherwise requires;
- “Act” means the Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985 (13 of the 1985);
- “advocate” means an advocate entered in any roll under the provisions of the Advocates Act, 1961 (25 of 1961);
- “agent” means a person duly authorized by a party to present an application or reply on its behalf before the Tribunal;
- “applicant” means a person making an application to the Tribunal under Section 19;
- “application” means an application made to the Tribunal under Section 19;
- “Form” means form Annexed to these rules;
- “Government” means the Government of West Bengal;
- “Legal Practitioner” shall have the same meaning as is assigned to it in the Advocates Act, 1961 (25 of 1961);
- “Legal representative” means a person who in law represents the estate of the deceased;
- “Registry” means the Registry of the Tribunal or of the Bengal of the Tribunal as the case may be;
- “Registrar” means the Registrar of the Tribunal and includes any officer to whom the powers and functions of the Registrar may be delegated under sub-rule (2) of rule 27;
- “Section” means a section of the Act;
- “Transferred application” means the suit or other proceedings which stand transferred to the Tribunal under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) of Section 29;
- “Tribunal” means the West Bengal Administrative Tribunal established under sub-section (2) of Section 4;
- the words and expressions used in these rules and not defined but defined in the Act shall have the meanings respectively assigned to them in the Act.
R.3. Language of the Tribunal. - The language of the Tribunal shall be English :
Provided that the parties to a proceeding before the Tribunal may file documents drawn up in Bengali if they so desire :
Provided further that a Bench may, in its discretion permit the use of Bengali in the proceedings but the final order shall be in English.
R.4. Procedure the future applications.
- An application to the Tribunal shall be presented in Form 1 by the applicant in person or by an agent or by a duly authorized advocate to the Registrar or any other officer authorised in writing by the Registrar to receive applications or be sent by registered post with acknowledgement due addressed to the Registrar.
- The application under sub-rule (1) shall be presented in three complete sets in a paper-book form along with one empty file size envelope bearing full address of the respondent.
- Where the number of respondents is more than one, as many extra copies of the application in paper-book form as the number of respondents together with the required number of empty file size envelopes bearing the full address of each respondent shall be furnished by the applicant :
Provided that where the number of respondents is more than five, the Registrar may permit the applicant to file the extra copies of the application at the time of issue of notice to the respondents.
- The applicant may attach to and present with his application a receipt slip in Form II which shall be signed by the Registrar or the Officer receiving the application on behalf of the Registrar in acknowledgement of the receipt of the application.
- Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-rules (1) to (8) the Tribunal may permit :-
- more than one person to join together and file a single application if it is satisfied having regard to the cause of action and the nature of relief prayed for that they have a common interest in the matter
- an application or presenting persons desiring of joining a single application to file such application provided that the application shall disclose the class, grade or categories of all the persons on whose behalf the application is filed.
R.5. Presenting and scrutiny of application.
- The Registrar or the officer authorised by him under rule 4, shall endorse on every application the date on which it is presented and shall sign the endorsement.
- If, on scrutiny, the application is found to be in order, it shall be duly registered and given a serial number.
- If the application, on scrutiny, is found to be defective that the defect noticed is formal in nature, the Registrar may allow the party to rectify the same in his presence and if the said defect is not formal in nature, the Registrar m ay allow the applicant such time to rectify the defect as he may deem fit.
- If the applicant fails to rectify the defect within the time allowed under sub-rule (3), the Registrar may, by order and for reasons to be recorded in writing, decline to registrar the application and inform the applicant accordingly.
- An appeal against the order of the Registrar under sub-rule (4) shall be made within 15 days of such order to the Tribunal whose decision thereon shall be final.
R.6. Place of filing application. - All applications shall be filed with the Registrar.
R.7. Application fee. - Every application filed with the Registrar shall be accompanied by a fee of Rs.50 (Rupees fifty) which shall be paid in court-fee stamps affixed on the application :
Provided that where the Tribunal permits a single application to be filed, either by more than one person or by an Association, the fee payable shall be rupees fifty.
R.8. Contents of application.
- Every application filed under rule 4 shall set forth concisely under distinct heads, the grounds for such application. Such grounds shall be numbered consecutively. Every application including any miscellaneous application shall be typed in double space.
- It shall not be necessary to present a separate application to seek an interim order or direction if the application contains a prayer for an interim order or direction pending final disposal of the application.
- An application may, subsequent to the filing of an application under Section 19, apply for an interim order or directions. Such an application shall, as far as possible, be in the same form as is prescribed for an application under Section 19 and shall be accompanied by a fee of Rs.2 (Rupees two) which shall be payable in court fee stamp of fixed on such application.
R.9. Paper-book, etc. to accompany the application.
Provided that where an application is filed by an advocate, it shall be accompanied by a duly executed ‘Vakalatnama’.
- Every application shall be accompanied by a paper-book containing :-
- a true copy of the order against which the application has been filed;
- copies of the documents relied upon by the applicant and referred to in the application; and
- an index of the documents.
- The documents referred to in sub-rule (1) may be attested by an advocate or by a Gazetted Officer or by a Group ‘A’ Officer of the Government.
- Where an application is filed by an agent the documents authorising him to act as such agent shall also be appended to the application.
R.10. Plural remedies. - An application shall be based upon a single cause of action and may see one or more reliefs provided that they are consequential to one another.
R.11. Service of notices and process issued by the Tribunal.
- Copy of the application and the paper-book form shall ordinarily be served on each of the respondents by the Registrar in one of the following manners :-
- by hand delivery (Dasti) through the applicant or through a process server;
- by registered post with acknowledgement due ;
- Where notices issued by the Tribunal is served by the party himself by ‘hand delivery’ (Dasti) he shall file with the Registry of the Tribunal the acknowledgement together with an affidavit of service.
- Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-rule (1) the Registrar may, taking into account the number of respondents and their places of residence or work and other circumstances, direct the notice of the application shall be served upon respondents in any other manner, including manner of substituted service, as it appears to Tribunal just and convenient.
- Every applicant shall pay a fee for service or execution of processes in respect of application where the number of respondents exceeds five as under :-
- a sum of Rs.5 (Rupees five) for every respondent in excess of five respondents; or
- where the service is in such a manner as the Registrar may direct under sub-rule (3) such a sum, not exceeding the actual charges incurred in effecting the service, as may be determined by the Resigtrar.
- The fee for the service or execution of processes under sub-rule (4) shall be remitted by the applicant in the form of court-fee stamps.
- Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-rules (1) to (5), if the Tribunal is satisfied that it is not reasonably practicable to serve notice of application upon all the respondents it may, for reasons to be recorded in writing, direct that the application shall be heard notwithstanding that some of the respondents have not been served with notice of the application.
Provided that no application shall be heard unless :
- notice of the application has been served on the Government if such Government is a respondent ;
- notice of the application has been served on the authority which passed the order against which the application has been filed; and
- the Tribunal is satisfied that the interests of the respondents on whom notice of the application has not been served are adequately and sufficiently represented by the respondents on whom notice of the application has been served.
R.12. Filing of reply and other documents by the respondents.
- Each respondent intending to contest the application shall file in triplicate the reply to the application and the documents relied upon in paper-book form with the Registry within one month of the date of service of the notice of the application on him.
- The respondent shall serve a copy of the reply alongwith documents as mentioned in sub-rule (1) on the applicant or his advocate, if any, and file proof of such service in the Registry.
- The Tribunal may, on application by the respondent, allow the filing of the reply after the expiry of the period of one month.
R.13. Date and place of hearing to be notified. - The Registrar shall notify to the parties the date and the place of hearing of the application.
R.14. Sittings of the Tribunal. - The Tribunal shall ordinarily hold its sittings at Calcutta.
Provided that if at any time, the Chairman of the Tribunal is satisfied that circumstances exist which render if necessary for him to hold the sittings of the Tribunal at any place other than Calcutta, he may hold the sittings at any, such place.
R.15. Decision on application.
- The Tribunal shall draw up a calendar for the hearing of transferred cases and shall, as far as possible, hear and decide the cases according to the calendar.
- Every application shall be heard and decided as far as possible, within six months from the date of its presentation.
- For purpose of sub-rules(1) and (2), the Tribunal shall have the power to refuse an adjournment of hearing and to limit the time for oral arguments.
R.16. Action on application for applicant’s default.
- Where on the date fixed for hearing of the application or on any other date to which such hearing may be adjourned, the applicant does not appear when the application is called for hearing, the Tribunal may, in its discretion, either dismiss the application for default or hear and decides it on merit.
- Where an application has been dismissed, for default and the applicant appears afterwards, the Tribunal shall, if it is satisfied that there was sufficient cause for his non-appearance when the application was called for hearing make an order setting aside the order dismissing the application and restore the same.
R.17. Hearing on application ex-parte.
- Where on the date fixed for hearing of the application or on any other date to which such hearing may be adjourned the applicant appears and the respondent does not appear when the application is called for hearing, the Tribunal may, in its discretion adjourn the hearing or hear and decide the application ex-parte.
- Where an application has been heard ex-parte against a respondent or respondents, such respondent or respondents may apply to the Tribunal for an order set it aside and if such respondent or respondents satisfy the Tribunal that the notice was not duly served or that he or they were prevented by any sufficient cause from appearing when the application was called for hearing the Tribunal may pass an order setting aside the ex-parte hearing against him or them upon such terms does it deems fit and shall appoint a day for proceeding with the application :
Provided that where the ex-parte hearing of the application is of such nature that it cannot be set aside against one respondent only, it may be set aside against all or any of the other respondents :
Provided further that the Tribunal shall not set aside ex-parte hearing of an application merely on the ground that there has been an irregularity in the service of notice, if it is satisfied that the respondent had been duly served with the notice of the date of hearing and had sufficient time to appear and answer the applicant’s claim.
R.18. Adjournment of application. - The Tribunal may on such terms as it may deem fit and at any stage of a proceedings, adjourn the hearing of the application.
R.19. Order to be signed and dated. - Every order of the Tribunal shall be in writing and shall be signed and dated by the Members constituting the Bench.
R.20. Publication of orders. - Such of the orders of the Tribunal, as are deemed fit for publication in any authoritative report of the press, may be released for such publication such terms and conditions as the Tribunal may lay down.
R.21. Communication of orders to the parties. - Every order passed on an application shall be communicated to the applicant and to the respondent(s), either in person or by registered post, free of cost.
R.22. Fee for inspection of records. - No fee shall be charged for inspecting the records of a pending application by a party thereto.
R.23. Orders and directions in certain cases. - The Tribunal may make such orders or give such directions as it may consider necessary or expedient to give effect to its orders or to prevent abuse of its powers or to secure the ends of justice.
R.24. Registration of legal practitioner’s clerks.
- A clerk employed by a legal practitioner and permitted as such to have access to the records and to obtain copies of the orders of the Tribunal in which the legal practitioner ordinarily practices shall be known as a “registered clerk”.
- A legal practitioner desirous of registering his clerk shall make an application to the Registrar in Form III.
- A legal practitioner shall have at a time nor more two than two registered clerks unless the Registrar by General or special order otherwise permits.
- A register of all the registered clerks be maintained in the office of the Registrar after registration of the clerks, the Registrar shall direct the issue of an identity card to which shall be non-transferable and shall be introduced by the holder upon request by an order or any other employee of the Tribunal.
- The identity card mentioned in sub-rule (4) shall be issued under the signatures of Deputy Registrar of the Tribunal.
- Whenever a legal practitioner ceases employ a registered clerk, he shall notify fact at once to the Registrar by means of all enclosing therewith the identity card issued such clerk by the Registry and on receipt such letter the name of the said registered shall be struck off from the register.
R.25. Working hours of the Tribunal. - Except on Saturday, Sundays and other public holidays the office of the Tribunal shall, subject to order made by the Chairman, remain open from 10.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. but no work if is of an urgent nature shall be admitted 4.00 p.m. on any working day.
R.26. – Sitting hours of the Tribunal. - The sitting hours of the Tribunal (including a vacation Bench) shall ordinarily be from 11.00 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. and 2.30 p.m. to 4.30 p.m. subject to any general or special order made by the Chairman in this behalf.
R.27. Powers and functions of the Registrar.
- The Registrar shall have the custody of records of the Tribunal and shall exercise all other functions as may be assigned to him under these rules or by the Chairman.
- The Registrar may, with the approval of the Chairman delegate to the Deputy Registrar any function or power required by these rules be performed or exercised by the Registrar.
- In the absence of the Registrar, Deputy Registrar of any other officer of the Tribunal authorized in writing by the chairman on this behalf, may exercise and perform all or any of the powers and functions of the Registrar.
- The Registrar shall keep in his custody the official seal of the Tribunal.
- The Registrar shall, subject to any order or special direction by the Chairman, affix official seal of the Tribunal on any notice or other process.
- The Registrar shall have the power authorised in writing the affixing of the seal Tribunal on a certified copy of any order of the Tribunal.
R.28. Additional powers and duties of Registrar. - In addition to the powers conferred elsewhere in these rules, the Registrar shall have the following powers and duties subject to any general or special order of the Chairman, namely :
- to receive all application and other documents including transferred application;
- to decide all questions arising out of the scrutiny of the applications before they are registered;
- to require any application presented to the Tribunal to be amended in accordance with the Act and the rules ;
- to fix, subject to the directions of the Tribunal, dates of hearing of applications or other proceedings and issue notices thereof;
- to direct any formal amendment of records ;
- to order grant of copies of documents to parties to the proceedings;
- to grant permission for inspection of records of the Tribunal ;
- to dispose of all matters relating to the service of notices or other processes, applications for the issue of fresh notices or for extending the time therefore ;
- to requisition records from the custody of any court or other authority;
- to receive applications for the substitution of legal representative of the deceased parties during the pendency of the application ;
- to receive and dispose of applications for substitution, except where the substitution would involve setting aside an order of abatement; and
- to receive and dispose of applications by parties for return of documents.
R.29. Seal and emblem. - The office seal and emblem of the Tribunal shall be such as the Government may specify.
R.30. Dress for the Members and Staff of the Tribunal. - The dress for the Members of the Tribunal (including Chairman and Vice-chairman) and the Officers and other employees of the Tribunal shall be such as the Chairman may specify.
R.31. Dress for the Legal Practitioners and Presenting Officers. - A legal practitioner or as the case may be, a presenting officer shall appear before the Tribunal in his professional dress, if any, and if there is no such dress. –
- if a male, in a closed collared coat or in an open collared coat with white shirt, trousers and a tie ;
- if a female, in a saree or in any other dress in white or any other light colour.