CESTAT Members Living out of suitcase
AIT News Network
MUMBAI. Members of CESTAT are frequent flyers if the roaster of CESTAT Benches is any indication. Those posted in Mumbai, Bangalore and Ahmedabad are flying to Delhi to sit in Delhi Bench; while those posted in Delhi and Kolkata are flying to Mumbai to sit in Mumbai Benches.
Member(Technical) Mr Rakesh Kumar who is posted in Delhi Bench will be flying to Mumbai to preside over Mumbai Bench from 9.5.11 to 27.5.11. President of CESTAT Justice RMS Khandeparkar who is based in Delhi will also fly from Delhi to Mumbai to preside over Mumbai Bench from 16.5.11 to 20.5.11. Mr SS Kang Vice President based in Kolkata will also be flying to Mumbai to preside over Mumbai Bench from 9.5.11 to 20.5.11. Delhi based Member(Technical) Mr. M. Veeraiyan is also scheduled to fly to Kolkata during the month.
Mr Sahab Singh, Member (Technical) posted in Mumbai will fly to Delhi to sit in Service Tax Bench from 23.5.11 to 3.6.11. Mr. MV Ravindran Member (Judicial) based in Bangalore will also fly to Delhi to sit in Customs & Service Tax Bench from 9.5.11 to 20.5.11. Mr PG Chacko Member(Judicial) based in Mumbai will be flying to Bangalore to sit in Bangalore Bench during 8.5.11 to 21.5.11.
Mrs. Archana Wadhwa Member (Judicial) posted in Ahmedabad Bench will fly to Delhi to sit in Customs Division Bench From 23.5.11 to 3.6.11. Mr BSV Muthy Member(Technical) based in Ahmedabad will also fly to sit in Bangalore Bench from 3.5.11 to 4.6.11. Dr C Satapathy Member(Technical) based in Chennai is flying to Kolkata to sit in kolkata Bench during 15.5.11 to 21.5.11.
Members of CESTAT are holding the rank equivalent to Secretary to Government of India and are entitled to Executive Class in Plane. Though they are supposed to travel by national carrier Air India; due to ongoing strike they will have to book tickets in Private Airlines like Jetlite or Kingfisher which hiked the fares to encash on Air India strike. In many cases Members taking morning flights are to wake up at 4 AM for catching 6 AM flight and in case flight is delayed; they directly reach CESTAT Office from Airport. Since most of the members are 55 plus; frequent flying can can lead to jet leg and living out of suitcase for a long period can adversely affect health due to over exertion and overload of work as their job profile requires sitting in Court from 10.30 to 1.45 and again from 2.30 to 4.45. Besides they are supposed to dictate the orders in their chambers whenever they have time.Many take the files to their residences and work on Saturday and Sunday and some are working for even 18 hours a day if their flying hours are also taken into account. The job of a CESTAT Member is a challenging job but whenever fresh advertisement is made for appointment of new members; it needs to be clearly mentioned that “the candidate will have to be a frequent flyer.”
Airlines give Bonus Points to “frequent flyers” and such points can be encashed for free Air tickets(including international tickets) for spouses. But whether members are also availing bonus points or not; it could not be ascertained.