3.2.1 Qualification and terms of office of Presiding Officer of an Appellate Tribunal
1. No person shall be qualified for appointment as a Presiding Officer of an Appellate Tribunal unless he is or has been a District Judge and has not attained the age of 65 years on the date of appointment.
2. The Presiding Officer shall be selected by the State Government in which the Appellate Tribunal is located. The selection panel shall consist of three persons, one being a serving Judge of the High Court in which the Appellate Tribunal is located, the Law Secretary of the State Government and the Secretary of the concerned department of the State Government.
3. The panel’s recommendation shall be decided by the majority of the members constituting the panel. The panel shall send its recommendation to the State Government, which will then take such steps as may be necessary to notify the appointment of the Presiding Officer. If there are more than one candidate which the panel has recommended for appointment, the panel shall rank the candidates in the order of their merit.
3.2.2: Terms and conditions of service of Presiding Officer
1. Term of office: The Presiding Officer of the Appellate Tribunal shall hold office for a term of five years from the date on which he assumes office or until he attains the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
Filling of vacancy: If for reason other than temporary absence, any vacancy occurs in the office of the Presiding Officer of the Appellate Tribunal, then the Central Government or the State Government, as the case may be, shall appoint another person in accordance with the provisions of the Act to fill the vacancy and the proceedings may be continued before the Appellate Tribunal from the stage at which the vacancy occurred.
2. Salary and allowances of Presiding Officer: The Presiding Officer of Appellate Tribunal shall be paid such salary ELS admissible to a serving District Judge of the State in which the Appellate Tribunal is located.
Provided that if the Presiding Officer is in receipt of any retirement benefit by way of pension, gratuity, employer’s contribution to Contributory Provided Fund, etc. the pay of such Presiding Officer shall be reduced by the gross amount of pension or employer’s contribution to the Contributory Provided Fund or any other form of retirement benefit, if any, drawn or to be drawn by him.
(i) Travelling Allowance: The Presiding Officer while on tour or on transfer (including the journey undertaken to join the Appellate Tribunal or on the expiry of his term with the Appellate Tribunal to proceed to his home town) shall be entitled to travelling allowance, daily allowances, transportation of personal effects and other similar matters at the same scale and at the same rates as are applicable to a District Judge of the State in which the Appellate Tribunal is located.
(ii) Leave Travel Concession: The Presiding Officer shall be entitled to Leave Travel Concession at the same rates and at the same scale as are applicable to a District Judge of the State in which the Appellate Tribunal is located.
(ii) Conveyance: The Presiding Officer shall be entitled to a staff car as applicable to a District Judge.
(iii) Facilities of Medical Treatment: The Presiding Officer of the Appellate Tribunal shall be entitled to medical treatment and hospital facilities as provided in the Service Rules as are applicable to a District Judge in the state in which the Appellate Tribunal is located.
3. Resignation and removal: The Presiding Officer of the Appellate Tribunal may, by a notice in writing under his hand addressed to the Central Government or the State Government, as the case may be, which has appointed him, resign from his office. The Central Government or the State Government, as the case may be, remove from office, the Presiding Officer of the Appellate Tribunal, who
(i) has been adjudged as insolvent
(ii) has been convicted of an offence which in the opinion of the Central Government o. t!’~ State Government, as the case may be, involves moral turpitude
(iii) has become physically or mentally incapable of acting as the Presiding Officer
(iv) has acquired such financial or other interest as is likely to affect prejudicially his functions as the Presiding Officer
(v) has so misbehaved or abused his position as to render his continuance in office prejudicial to the public interest.
Provided however that the Presiding Officer shall not be so removed from his office for reasons mentioned in iv and v except by an order of the Central Government or the State Government, as the case may be, after an inquiry made by a serving or retired Judge of a High Court in which the Presiding Officer has been informed of the charges against him and given a reasonable opportunity of being heard in respect of the charges and the person conducting the enquiry files a report that the Presiding Officer ought to be removed.
Whereas in respect of i, ii, and iii the decision of the Government shall be based on convincing evidence or documentary proof on the basis of a speaking order.
4. Residuary powers and power to relax rules
(i) Residuary Powers: Matters relating to the conditions of service of the Presiding Officer with respect to which no express provision is made in these rules, shall be referred, in each case to the Central Government or the State Government as the case may be for its decision and the decision of the Central Government or the State Government thereon shall be binding on the Presiding Officer.
(ii) Power to relax: The Central Government or the State Government as the case may be, shall have the power to relax the provision of any of these rules relating to Presiding Officer.
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