The Government of India on Friday clarified that the service matters of the government employees in the union territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh will be heard by the Central Administrative Tribunal’s J&K bench.
The government, in an order dated April 29, had mentioned that the CAT’s Chandigarh bench will have the jurisdiction of the benches in states of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab and union territories of Chandigarh, Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh, following which there were reports in a section of media that said, “Government of India shifts all service matters of employees of J&K and Ladakh UTs to Chandigarh CAT”.
The Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT), in an official statement on Friday, said: “It is clarified that neither the petitioner nor the lawyer needs to go to Chandigarh for filing a petition or appearing before the tribunal.”
“The term ‘Chandigarh circuit’ is being misinterpreted to mean that the petitioner or lawyer would have to go to Chandigarh, which is not so,” the statement emphasised.
“All service matters of Central government and UT employees of J&K and Ladakh will be heard and disposed of in the CAT bench of J&K itself,” the statement added.
The statement further read: “It is reiterated that earlier also the CAT bench used to hold its sittings in the state of Jammu and Kashmir to dispose of service matters related to Central government employees.”
“The only difference now is that it will also be disposing of matters related to employees of the union territory, and therefore, will have more frequent sittings in Jammu and Kashmir,” the DoPT clarified.
According to the DoPT, the registration of cases can also be done either online or at the CAT’s secretariat office which will be set up locally after the union territory government provides an appropriate facility.
“Disposal of cases through CAT in UT of J&K will ensure fair and objective delivery of justice,” the statement read.
The DoPT, meanwhile, mentioned that due to the ongoing lockdown, the working of the CAT benches will remain suspended till Sunday.