Sittings to be held at both capitals
*R S Jain posted as Judicial Member
JAMMU, May 28: In a landmark decision, the Union Government has established a Bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal in Jammu, which will hear the service matters of the employees of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Union Territory of Ladakh as well as of the Central Government employees posted in these UTs.
The Bench has been established by way of amendments carried out in the notification of the Government of India in the erstwhile Ministry of Personnel and Training, Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances and Pensions vide Number GSR 610 (E) dated July 26, 1985 and in exercise of the powers conferred by Sub-Section 1 of Section 18 of the Administrative Tribunals Act of 1985.
As per the notification, there will be a Jammu Bench of the CAT with jurisdiction over the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Union Territory of Ladakh. Moreover, in the notification both the UTs have been removed from the jurisdiction of the Chandigarh Bench which means that service matters of the Central Government employees posted in these UTs will also be heard by the Jammu Bench of CAT.
The notification further read: “In exercise of powers conferred by Sub-Section 7 of Section 5 of the Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985, the Central Government specifies Jammu and Srinagar as the places at which the Benches of the CAT shall ordinarily sit for the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Union Territory of Ladakh”.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Central Administrative Tribunal in exercise of the powers conferred by Clause-B of Sub-Section 4 of Section 5 of the Administrative Tribunals Act has transferred Rakesh Sagar Jain, Judicial Member, Central Administrative Tribunal, Allahabad Bench to the CAT Jammu Bench.
“The Judicial Member may be relieved of his duties so as to enable him to assume the charge of the post of Judicial Member at Jammu Bench on June 8, 2020 postively”, read the order.
Son of the soil R S Jain has served as Principal District and Sessions Judge Jammu and Udhampur, District Judge Rajouri, Reasi, Ramban, Samba, Presiding Officer TADA/POTA, Registrar Judicial and Registrar Vigilance in both the wings of the J&K High Court.
Earlier, Chandigarh Bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal had the jurisdiction over the Northern States including the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir but only in respect of Central Government employees posted in this part of the country and the service matters of J&K Government employees were being heard by the High Court.
Following enactment of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act by the Parliament in the first week of August last year, the Administrative Tribunals Act became applicable to the newly created Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh with effect from October 30, 2019.
Accordingly, the Department of Personnel and Training of the Union Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions in exercise of the powers conferred by Sub-Section 1 of Section 18 of the Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985 issued a notification in the month of April this year mentioning that Chandigarh Bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal will have jurisdiction over Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Union Territory of Ladakh.
This notification generated fear among the employees of the J&K and Ladakh UTs as well as advocates about disposal of service matters by the Chandigarh Bench of the CAT. However, Union DoPT Minister Dr Jitendra Singh immediately allayed the fears and said that notification was misunderstood by the employees and advocates.
He had assured that service matters of the Central Government and employees of J&K as well as Ladakh UTs will be heard and disposed off locally and he fulfilled his assurance by getting sanctioned CAT Bench at Jammu.
Now, all the service matters pending before the Jammu and Srinagar wings of the High Court will be transferred to the CAT Bench at Jammu shortly as necessary details in this regard have already been prepared by the Registry of the High Court.
A Division Bench of the High Court has already directed the Government of J&K UT to identify the premises for the Bench and residences of the members and staff of CAT, which shall be inspected by a representative of the Tribunal.
Only premises for the offices of the CAT Bench are required to be identified while as for residential accommodation of the members of CAT there are number of Government houses lying vacant at Jammu as well as Srinagar and allotment can be made befitting the status of the members of CAT.