Ground Report | Srinagar
In a move aimed at placating lawyers in Jammu & Kashmir, the Government of India on Thursday constituted a permanent bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal for the newly carved out Union Territory.
The Centre today notified that “Jammu bench” of the Central Administrative Tribunal will have jurisdiction over Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh Union Territories. With this notification, the number of benches of CAT has reached 18.
The Centre also ordered that benches of CAT shall ordinarily sit at Jammu and Srinagar for hearing service matters of employees of both J&K and Ladakh Union Territories.
“In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (7) of section 5 of the Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985 ,the Central Government hereby specifies Jammu and Srinagar as the places at which the Benches of the Central Administrative Tribunal shall ordinarily sit for the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Union territory of Ladakh,” reads the notification issued by Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pension.
The decision comes after political parties and lawyers in J&K slammed the Centre’s move to extend jurisdiction of Chandigarh bench of CAT over UTs carved out from the erstwhile state of Jammu & Kashmir.
As per the Notification published today in the Official Gazette, this newly established Bench will exercise jurisdiction over Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Union territory of Ladakh.
On May 22, the Supreme Court had issued notice in a plea seeking the setting up of a permanent Bench of CAT in the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir for hearing service matters.
In a notification issued on April 29, the Centre ordered that service matters of J&K and Ladakh UTs would be dealt by the CAT’s Chandigarh bench whose mandate was restricted to hearing matters of central government employees in the erstwhile state of J&K.
Before re-organization of J&K, the services matter of the employees of the J&K Government were being adjudicated by Kashmir and Jammu wings of High Court.
The Administrative Tribunal Act-1985, which governs creation and functioning of CAT, became applicable to both the UTs from October 31 as per the provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act.