SC notice to Centre on petition seeking permanent CAT Bench in J&K

SRINAGAR: The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to the Centre and Jammu and Kashmir Administration on a petition seeking setting up of a permanent Bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal in the newly created union territory.

A Bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde asked the Centre to respond in four weeks to the petition filed by Shiv Kumar and Asheesh Singh Kotwal.

The petitioners have challenged the April 29 notification issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) extending jurisdiction of CAT, Chandigarh in service matters of employees of Jammu and Kashmir UT Administration.

The notification violated fundamental rights of citizens as it denied access of justice to all, the petitioners said, terming the decision as arbitrary and violative of right to equality.

With effect from October 31, 2019, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh became separate union territories and an estimated five lakh employees of the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state are now treated as central government employees.

The Central Administrative Tribunal was created under the Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985 for expeditious adjudication of disputes and complaints with respect to recruitment and conditions of service of central government employees.

There are 17 Benches and 21 Circuit Benches in the CAT across India. In addition to the Ministries and Departments of Central Government, the Centre has notified about 214 organizations under section 14 (2) of the Act to bring them within the jurisdiction of CAT.

The Principal Bench of CAT also deals with matters of Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi.

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