BANGALORE: The Chairman and the Registrar of Karnataka Administrative Tribunal (KAT) have been served with contempt notice by the Supreme Court for non-compliance of its order in cases pertaining to the promotion of stenographers and assistants in the tribunal as junior judgment writers.

The notice has been issued to Chairman Justice A.V. Srinivas Reddy and Registrar N.A. Lokeshappa based on a contempt petition filed by KAT employees M.G. Maheshwar Rao and others. The notice was issued on May 22, and the two top officials of KAT have been asked to appear before Supreme Court either in person or through counsel on July 14.

Maheshwar Rao and others moved the apex court through a contempt petition against the two KAT officials for not initiating action on the August 27, 2007 Supreme Court order that had set aside the entire promotion process of stenographers as junior judgment writers in the administrative tribunal.

The apex court had also directed the tribunal to undertake a fresh exercise of promoting the officers in accordance with the rules framed in this regard.

The case pertains to promotion of stenographers as junior judgment writers, which was undertaken during the late 90s after qualifications for the promotion was altered by the administrative tribunal bench headed by the vice-chairman by doing away with the higher qualification prescribed.

The Supreme Court had observed that the vice-chairman, who sat on the judicial side, quashed the rule and prescribed his own qualifications for promotion of stenographers, and on the administrate side implemented that decision and promoted the stenographers. It had also observed that the vice-chairman could have awaited the appointment of a Chairman before implementing the tribunal bench directions on changing the qualification criterion.

The Supreme Court, while quashing the promotions of stenographers, had also directed the Karnataka Administrate Tribunal to initiate fresh exercise regarding promotions of those who are qualified in accordance with the rules as “expeditiously as possible.”

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