‘SAT a must till high court bench is set-up’ state Dharamshala bar association

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Photo used for indicative purpose only. Source internet

Dharamshala district bar association condemned the decision of the Jai Ram Cabinet to abolish the State Administrative Tribunal. Dharamshala bar is of the opinion that till the Bench of High Court is not established the State Administrative Tribunal should keep functioning.

The demand for bench of High Court is long pending and since 1971 the government(s) has been giving assurances but nothing concrete has been done. The Bench of High Court will benefit the people of largest district of the State. Even Kangra, Chamba, Hamirpur and Una districts would be benefitted by the move. The maximum numbers of cases in the High Court are from these districts and setting up a bench will be helpful for the people staying in these districts for speedy redressal of their grievances. Many members of the bar stated that when Circuit benches at the district level can be established, then what could be the roadblock for setting up a High Court bench here. The bar association allege that it is because of the lobbying by High Court lawyers that the bench of is not coming at Dharamshala or any other district of the state.

Following the footsteps of his predecessor, former Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and in defiance of several pressure lobbies in the State, the Jai Ram cabinet decided to abolish the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) recently. To shut the tribunal, “necessary steps would be taken accordingly,” a government spokesman said late in the evening after the cabinet meeting. It was more than 10 years ago, on 11 July, 2008 when an earlier BJP government had first shut down the state tribunal. Like this time all pending matters were transferred to the State High Court. In 2008 there were at least 23,000 cases pending in SAT and the reasoning given by a government official for winding up the tribunal then was that most of the cases decided by tribunal ended up in the High Court, so there was no point having a tribunal.

Thereafter when Congress came into power the Himachal Pradesh Administrative Tribunal was re-established in the month of February, 2015 w.e.f. 28.02.2015. Justice V.K.Sharma was appointed as its Chairman.

The Himachal Pradesh Administrative Tribunal had been set up on 01.09.1986 for quick redressal of grievances for State Government employees. Justice H.S.Thakur was appointed its first Chairman. Thereafter well known personalities in the field of law Legal luminaries such as Justice R.S.Thakur, Justice A.L.Vaideya, Justice D.P.Sood, Justice Bakshish Kaur and Justice M.R.Verma graced the chair of head of Himachal Pradesh Administrative Tribunal. Besides the Principal Bench at Shimla two Circuit Benches at Mandi and Dharamshala had been setup. The Himachal Pradesh Administrative Tribunal dealt with the dissolution of service matters of the Himachal Pradesh Government employees with regard to their service conditions Vis a Vis retirement, promotion, transfer & so on.

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