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SERVICE TRIBUNALS ACT, 1973

ACT NO. LXX OF 1973

26th SEPTEMBER, 1973

 

an Act to provide for the establishment of

Service Tribunals to exercise jurisdiction in respect of matters

relating to the terms and conditions of service of civil servants.

 

WHEREAS it is expedient to provide for the establishment of Administrative Tribunals, to be called Service Tribunals, to ex­ercise exclusive jurisdiction in respect of matters relating to the terms and conditions of service of civil servants, and for matter connected therewith or ancillary thereto ;

 

It is hereby enacted as follows :

 

l.— Short title, extent and commencement.  (l) This Act may be called the Service Tribunals Act, 1973.

(2) It shall come into force at once.

(3) It applies to all civil servants wherever they may be.

 

2.  Definitions.  In this Act, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context,—

(a) “ civil servant” means a person who is, or has been, a civil servant within the meaning of the Civil Servants Act, 1973 ; and

 

(b) “ Tribunal “ means a Service Tribunal established under section 3.

 

3.—  Tribunals. (1) The President may, by notification in the official Gazette, establish one or more Service Tribunals and, where there are established more than one Tribunal, the President shall specify in the notification the class or classes   of civil servants In respect of whom, or the territorial limits within which, or the class or classes of cases in respect of which, each such Tribunal shall exercise jurisdiction under this Act.

 

(2) A Tribunal shall have exclusive jurisdiction in respect of matters relating to the terms and conditions of service of civil servants, including disciplinary matters.

 

(3) A Tribunal shall consist of—

 

(a) a Chairman, being a person who is, or has been, or is qualified to be. Judge of a High Court ; and

 

(b) such number of members not exceeding three, each of whom is a person who possesses such quali­fications as may be prescribed by rules, as the Presi­dent may from time to time appoint.

 

(4) The Chairman and members of a Tribunal shall be ap­pointed by the President on such terms and conditions as he may determine.

 

(5) The Chairman or a member of a Tribunal may resign his office by writing under his hand addressed to the President.

 

(6) The Chairman or a member of a Tribunal shall not hold any other office of profit in the service of Pakistan if his remunera­tion is thereby increased.

 

(7) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (3), sub-section (4), sub-section (5) or sub-section (6), a Tribunal established to exercise jurisdiction in respect of a specified class or classes of cases may consist of one or more persons in the ser­vice of Pakistan to be appointed by the President.

 

3A.—  Benches of the Tribunal.  (1) The powers and functions of a Tribunal may be exercised or performed by Benches consisting of not less than two members of the Tribunal, including the Chairman, constituted by the Chairman.

 

(2) If the members of a Bench differ in opinion as to the decision to be given on any point,—

 

(a) the point shall be decided according to the opinion of the majority;

 

(b) if the members are equally divided and the Chairman of the Tribunal is not himself a member of the Bench, the case shall be referred to the Chairman and the decision of the Tribunal shall be expressed in terms of the opinion of the Chairman; and

 

(c) if the members are equally divided and the Chairman of the Tribunal is himself a member of the Bench, the opinion of the Chairman shall prevail and the decision of the Tribunal shall be expressed in terms of the opinion of the Chairman.

 

4.—  Appeals to tribunals. (1) Any civil servant aggrieved by any final order, whether original or appellate, made by a departmental authority in respect of any of the terms and conditions of his service may, within thirty days of the communication of such order to him,  or within six months of the establishment of the appropri­ate Tribunal, whichever is later, an appeal to the Tribunal :

 

Provided that—

(a) where an appeal, review or representation to a de­partmental authority is provided under the Civil Servants Ordinance, 1973, or any rules against any such order, no appeal shall lie to a Tribunal unless the aggrieved civil servant has preferred an appeal or application for review or representation to such de­partmental authority and a period of ninety days has elapsed from the date on which such appeal, application or representation was so preferred

 

(b) no appeal shall lie to a Tribunal against an order or decision of a departmental authority determining the fitness or otherwise of a person to be appointed to or hold a particular post or to be promoted to a higher grader; and

 

(c) no appeal shall lie to a Tribunal against an order or decision of a departmental authority made at any time before the 1st July, 1969.

 

(2) Where the appeal is against an order or decision of a departmental authority imposing a departmental punishment or penalty on a civil servant, the appeal shall be preferred—

 

(a) in the case of a penalty of dismissal from service, re­moval from service, compulsory retirement or reduc­tion to a lower post or time-scale or to a lower stage in a time-scale, to a Tribunal referred to in sub-section (3) of section 3 ; and

 

(b) in any other case, to a Tribunal referred to in sub­section (7) of that section.

Explanation.—In this section, “ departmental authority “ means any authority, other than a Tribunal, which is competent to make an order in respect of any of the terms and conditions of civil servants.

 

Court Decisions

Non-deciding of appeal by Departmental Authorities—contention of the Authorities was that service Tribunal had wrongly condoned delay in filling appeal before tem as the departmental appeal before the Authorities filed by the civil servant was barred by time—Validity—As departmental appeal filed by the civil servant was not disposed of by any order in writing holding eh same as barred by time, the question of condonation or otherwise in filing departmental appeal did not arise—Service Tribunal did not commit any illegality in condoning the delay because the civil servant had been pursuing his remedy vigilantly from pillar to post but was not given the relief—Supreme court observed that the conduct of Authorities was not above board—Government functionaries were the noblest litigants but n the present case the Authorities had not given fair treatment to the civil servant—Appeal was dismissed. 2004 S C M R 527

 

5.—  Powers of Tribunals.   (1) A Tribunal may, on appeal, confirm, set aside, vary or modify the order appealed against.

 

(2) A Tribunal shall, for the purpose of deciding any appeal, be deemed to be a civil court and shall have the same powers as are vested in such court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, including the powers of—

(a) enforcing the attendance of any person and examin­ing him on oath ;

(b) compelling the production of documents ; and

(c) issuing commission for the examination of witnesses and documents.

 

6.   Abatement of suits and other proceedings. All suits, appeals or applications regarding any matte within the jurisdiction of a Tribunal pending in any court in mediately before the commencement of this Act shall abate forth with :

 

Provided that any party to such a suit, appeal or applica­tion may, within ninety days of the establishment of the ap­propriate Tribunal, prefer an appeal to it in respect of any such matter which is in issue in such suit, appeal or application.

 

7.    Limitation. The provisions of sections 5 and 12 of the Limitation Act, 1908, shall apply to appeals under this Act.

 

8.—  Rules.   (1) The Federal Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, make rules for carrying out the purposes of this Act.

 

(2) In particular and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such rules nay provide for all or any of the following matters, namely :—

 

(a) requirements as to the number of members of the Tribunal necessary for hearings before, or order or decision .by, a Tribunal;  or a Bench there of  and

 

(b) filling for a specified period any vacancy in the office of the Chairman or a member of the Tribunal caused by the absence on leave or otherwise of the Chairman or, as the case may be, a member.

 

9.  Repeal.  The Service Tribunals Ordinance, 1973, is hereby re­pealed.

 

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