The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has sought the Government's response on the petition filed by employees’ associations challenging their de-recognition by Prasar Bharati. A bench comprising Member Judicial Meera Chhibber and Member Administration Dr A K Misra directed the government to reply by 17 October on the plea of the employees for de-recognizing their unions. The three petitioners - Association of Radio and TV Engineering Employees (ARTEE), AIR and DD Technical Employees Association, and the Programme Staff Association had approached CAT after Justice S. Muralidhar of the Delhi High Court earlier this week said all matters under service rules should first be heard by the Tribunal and only an appeal can come to the Court. The Associations had last week approached the Delhi High Court challenging the office order of 8 September de-recognizing all associations. The Court heard the matter for three days. The petitioners have alleged that Prasar Bharati had not only de-recognized their associations but also transferred 500-odd employees including 24 office bearers of various associations to different parts across the country. According to the petitioners, nine associations of employees were formally recognized by the management and the Information and Broadcasting Ministry which has been talking to their representatives on various issues. However, the order of 8 September said no association of employees of the Pubcaster is recognized and, therefore, no employee can be given preferential treatment.It further said all employees are to be treated in a fair and transparent manner and nullified an earlier order issued by Director General of All India Radio on 18 December 2008. In addition to the Union of India, the Secretary in the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, Prasar Bharati Chairperson, and nominated member and officiating CEO have been named as respondents in the petition.