Law commission favours creation of state administrative tribunal

The J&K law commission has recommended creation of the State Administrative Tribunal for adjudication of disputes and complaints relating to recruitment and condition of service of government employees in the State.

The panel headed by Justice (Retd) MK Hanjura made the recommendation in its first report submitted to Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam on Tuesday.

The Commission has cited huge pendency of service-related matters in J&K High Court, and constitution of similar quasi-judicial bodies in other States to back the recommendation.

“The constitution of such a Tribunal becomes all the more important and imperative taking into consideration the huge pendency of service matters in the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir. These comprise a huge chunk of cases numbering more than 26,552 minus the contempt petitions arising out of them,” reads the panel report.

It goes on to say the Tribunal will also facilitate the Court to attend to other cases pending disposal since long.

“A case cannot be dragged over a very unconscionably long period, during which, any petitioner if he/she is a normal average human being will face mental agony, torture, pain and suffer anguish and anxiety about an uncertain, vague, uncertain and unstructured future, both of his life and job during pendency of case. There are some petitioners in the service matters who have entered in the 6th, 7th and 8th decade of their life tottering or rather doddering their way to register their presence in the court, on the dates of hearing, some alone and forlorn, and, some accompanied by epigones,” the report states.

It has described Uttar Pradesh Tribunal model a better which could be improved with slight modifications and amendments.

“The Acts and Rules as formulated and promulgated by various states for smooth functioning of the Administrative Tribunals can be seen and examined for their application to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. However, the Uttar Pradesh model appears to be a better one with slight modifications, application and amendments as may be relevant to the State particularly in light of the age of the incumbents manning the posts of the Chairman and the Members of the tribunal which may be specified and provided on the same analogy as has been worked out in the case of the Accountability and the Human Rights Commissions,” the report states.

Approved in 2017 by the cabinet, the law commission became functional in January this year with appointment of its head.

It is mandated to identify the obsolete and redundant laws from statute book of the state. Among other things, the Commission has to suggest measures for elimination of delays, speedy clearance of arrears and reduction in costs to secure quick and economical disposal of cases.