SRINAGAR: Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh on Monday inaugurated the 18th Bench of Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) for the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh through a Video Conference.
Speaking after the inauguration, Dr. Singh said that the setting up of CAT Bench of Jammu to deal exclusively with service matters of government employees would go a long way in not only reducing the burden of various Courts and thereby giving them more time to deal with other cases expeditiously but would also provide to the persons covered by the Administrative Tribunals speedy relief in respect of their grievances and service matters.
He said that Modi Government is committed to Transparency and “Justice for All” and the people friendly reforms taken in the last six years have benefitted the entire country including 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 people of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh and now they enjoy same rights as people from the rest of India. Dr. Jitendra Singh expressed hope that pendency of about 30,000 cases would be resolved in a time bound and judicious manner.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that all three important agencies of DoPT- CAT, CIC and CVC are now operational in UTs of J&K and Ladakh. Earlier, in a notification issued on 28.05.2020 in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (7) of section 5 of the Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985 (13 of 1985), the Central Government has specified Jammu and Srinagar as the places at which the benches of the Central Administrative Tribunal shall ordinarily sit for the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Union Territory of Ladakh. Similarly, the Central Information Commission (CIC) has started hearing Right to Information (RTI) Act applications of applicants from the UTs of J&K and Ladakh from 15.05.2020. Dr. Singh said that Shri Sanjay Kothari, Central Vigilance Commissioner who called on him on 5th May, 2020 informed the Minister that the jurisdiction of the Central Vigilance Commission has been extended over the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
During his address, the Lieutenant Governor, Girish Chandra Murmu observed that with the coming up of J&K bench of the Tribunal, the employees of J&K and Ladakh would now be better poised to seek the redressal of their grievances pertaining to service matters. “About 34,000 cases pertaining to service matters of the employees of J&K are being transferred from J&K High Court to the Tribunal for quick disposal. This will be a huge relief to the employees, who will immensely benefit from this bench of the Tribunal”, he added.
The Lt Governor said that the Administration of Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir would extend all possible support so that the Central Administrative Tribunal does not face any difficulty while discharging its functions. He thanked the Central Government for taking all necessary steps to make the Tribunal functional in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir within the shortest possible time.
He also observed that with the establishment of the Central Administrative Tribunal, the guarantee of speedy, effective, decentralized dispensation of justice as guaranteed in the Constitution of India would be available to the employees of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. “I believe the establishment of this Tribunal will achieve desired objectives”, he maintained.
Chairman, Central Administrative Tribunal, Justice L. Narasimha Reddy gave the welcome address. The inaugural ceremony was also addressed by Chief Justice of the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir, Justice Gita Mittal. Member Judicial, Central Administrative Tribunal, Jammu, Rakesh Sagar Jain gave the vote of thanks on the occasion.