SRINAGAR: Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh today inaugurated a separate Bench of Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) at Srinagar to deal exclusively with service matters of government employees. While the CAT Bench at Jammu started functioning with effect from 08.06.2020 and now with the issuance of notification (dated 17.11.2021) of the jurisdiction of Srinagar Bench is also made functional. The Minister said with today’s historic decision, now all three important agencies of DoPT- CAT, CIC and CVC are fully functional in UTs of J&K and Ladakh.
Dr Jitendra Singh said Jammu and Kashmir is the only State/UT in the country to have two CAT Benches and this is because Prime Minister Narendra Modi accords special priority to J&K and he takes a keen interest in the matters and issues related to the new Union Territory. He said, two Benches for J&K will go a long way in not only reducing the burden of various Courts, but would also provide to the persons covered by the Administrative Tribunals speedy relief in respect of their grievances and service matters.
Dr Jitendra Singh informed that the Jurisdiction of Jammu Bench of CAT extends up to 10 districts of UT of J&K and one district (Leh) from UT of Ladakh, while the jurisdiction of Srinagar Bench extends up to 10 districts of UT of J&K and one district (Kargil) from UT of Ladakh. A Judicial Member, Shri D.S. Mahra as also the support officers and staff have been deputed at Srinagar Bench to manage its functioning.
Dr Jitendra Singh concluded that Modi Government is committed to Transparency and “Justice for All” and the people friendly reforms taken in the last seven years have benefitted the entire country including the people of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. He said that more than 800 Central laws, which were not applicable to J&K have been made applicable since the abolition of Article 370 and 35A on 5th August 2019 for the benefit of the people of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh and now they enjoy the same rights as people from the rest of India.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, with the notification of the Tribunals Reforms Act, 2021 on 13.8.2021, the process for filling up of vacancies of Members in CAT has been started. Presently, the post of Chairman, CAT is occupied by Manjula Das and it has been the constant endeavour of the Government to strengthen the infrastructure in all the Benches of CAT for their smooth functioning. Referring to the high disposal rate of cases, the Minister informed that since its inception in 1985 and up to 30.6.2021, the Central Administrative Tribunal received 8,56,069 cases for adjudication (including those transferred from High Courts), out of which 7,86,647cases have been disposed of, leaving a pendency of 69,422 cases. On average, more than 91.89% of the cases instituted are disposed of, he added.
It may be recalled that after the abrogation of Article 370, the Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh became two separate Union Territories and according to employees of erstwhile State of Jammu & Kashmir became the employees of the Union Territories. As such the disputes pertaining to their service matters are now being adjudicated by CAT. At the time of the Inauguration of CAT Jammu Bench 30,000 service matters were pending including17363 received from the High court. Out of the received 17363 cases, CAT Jammu has disposed of 4371 cases (2452 of Srinagar Wing and 1919 of Jammu Wing). As of now, 12992 cases are pending (7610 of Srinagar Wing and 5382 of Jammu Wing.)7610 cases are being sent to CAT Srinagar from CAT Jammu. Almost 13000 cases are still in the High court which will come to CAT.