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Central Administrative Tribunal not to function till Apr 20: Personnel Ministry.

The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), which adjudicates service matters of central government employees, will not function till April 20 due to the ongoing lockdown, according to a Personnel Ministry statement issued on Tuesday.

The tribunal’s principal bench here and its branches across the country have not been functioning since March 20 due to lockdowns to check the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“The functioning of the tribunal, through video conferencing was also not possible due to the absence of the facility and the hurdles in procuring the same. It was proposed to review the situation after April 14 depending upon the decision which the government of India may take,” the statement said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address to the nation on Tuesday announced the decision to extend the lockdown till May 3 subject to review on April 20 as regard to places, other than hotspots, it said.

“Therefore, the present state of affairs would continue till April 20 and the feasibility of functioning of the benches of the tribunal would be considered depending on the announcement, which may be made on April 20,” the statement said.

It said the vacation of the tribunal’s various benches is in different spells.

“The manner in which the loss of working days due to non-functioning of the benches on account of coronavirus can be compensated, would be decided in consultation with the respective bar associations, once the functioning of the benches starts,” the ministry said.

If any request for urgent hearing of a case before any bench is received from the advocates, the same shall be communicated to the principal registrar, who will give necessary instructions and do the needful, depending on the urgency, it said.

“The principal bench and the other benches shall function with skeletal staff in such a way that the employees are not exposed to any hazardous situation. The registrars of the benches shall identify the employees and assign the duties, turn-wise. Urgent matters on the administrative side shall be dealt with online or through communication over the phones, with the concerned,” the statement said.

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