State Administrative Tribunal abolition stays in limbo

  • | Friday | 11th January, 2019

Official records indicated that as many as 67,369 cases are pending before SAT.“Regarding disposal of pending cases of SAT, the matter has been placed before the high court for permission along with requirement of additional manpower and infrastructure for high court,” general administration department’s officer on special duty, Debabrata Mallick, said. The high court issued the direction on two petitions filed by the State Administrative Tribunal Bar Associations in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack in November 2017.The petitions sought intervention for filling up the posts of members and chairman that have remained vacant for years.Though the tribunal had a sanctioned strength of chairman and five members, it was functioning with an acting chairman, two members (judicial) and one member (administrative), resulting in piling up of cases. CUTTACK: The state government’s attempt to abolish the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) continues to hang fire as the general administration department is still stuck with the issue of adjustment of employees as well as pending cases.Established on July 14, 1986, the SAT has its principal bench in Bhubaneswar, a regular bench in Cuttack and circuit benches in Sambalpur and Berhampur.The cabinet had approved to abolish SAT on September 9, 2015. Subsequently, the state government had sent the proposal to the central government for notification of abolition of SAT.As evident from an affidavit filed by the state government in Orissa High Court, the Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT) under the Union ministry of personnel, public grievances and pension had responded to the proposal in August 2018.In the response DoPT had in principle agreed with the proposal of the state government for abolition of SAT subject to two conditions — suitable adjustment of the employees of SAT and decision on pending cases,But the process seems to be far from over as the affidavit submitted on January 7 indicated.Taking note of the progress made so far, a high court division bench of Chief Justice K S Jhaveri and Justice K R Mohapatra on Thursday directed the state government to make adhoc appointments to fill up the vacant posts in SAT within four weeks.The adhoc appointments will be till the completion of the process of abolition of SAT or for a maximum period of one year, the bench specified.

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