Centre announces CAT benches in Jammu, Srinagar

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Government of India on Thursday specified Jammu and Srinagar as the places at which the Benches of the Central Administrative Tribunal shall ordinarily sit for the J&K and Ladakh, reports said.

The notification was issued by the Ministry Of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (7) of section 5 of the Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985 (13 of 1985), news agency GNS reported.

The notification comes around ten days after J&K high court had sought “competent authority’s” view on suggestion for having one CAT bench each at Jammu and Srinagar.  

Hearing separate petitions, a division bench of Justices Rajesh Bindal and Sanjay Dhar had asked Vishal Sharma, Assistant Solicitor General of India, to seek instructions from the “competent authority” about the suggestion made by Abhinav Sharma, president Jammu Bar Association, about one bench each at Jammu and Srinagar.

Abhinav Sharma  had submitted that considering that on an average 25-30 cases are filed daily before both the benches of the High Court pertaining to service matters, one bench in Jammu and Kashmir may not be sufficient. “There should be at least be one bench each at Jammu and Srinagar, to start with,” he said.

Earlier, the ASGI Vishal Sharma, had submitted that immediate steps are being taken to constitute bench of CAT in J&K and it has been decided to station a bench “here”. But, he said, for the purpose proper infrastructure will be required, such as court rooms and the residential accommodation for the members of the bench.

 “Number of members of bench will be decided by the Chairman of CAT considering the requirement as per the cases filed and transferred from High Court,” he had said.

He had submitted that the moment accommodation is provided to CAT, required staff shall be deputed to take charge of files of the pending cases from the High Court.

Advocate General D C Raina had suggested one complex for using as court by CAT at Jammu—the building where earlier Accountability Commission was functional.

He had submitted that some other suitable vacant government building can also be short listed. He also apprised the court that one building was short listed at Srinagar also but the same having been declared as heritage building another one is being located.

 He said the needful shall be done in a couple of days. As far as residential accommodation for the members of CAT is concerned, the top law officer of the J&K had submitted that there are number of Government houses lying vacant at Jammu as well as Srinagar.

“The allotment shall be made befitting the status of the members of CAT,” he had said, according to global news service.

He had further suggested that some officer from CAT may inspect the premises regarding their suitability so that further steps could be taken

“Let Mr. Sharma, learned ASGI seek instructions from the competent authority about the suggestion made by Mr. Abhinav Sharma, about one bench each at Jammu and Srinagar to start with,” the court had said.