Srinagar: The Jammu & Kashmir High Court will hear a petition seeking establishment of permanent benches of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) in Srinagar and Jammu.
The plea challenges extension of jurisdiction of Chandigarh bench of the quasi-judicial body over the newly carved out Union Territory. The petition will come up for hearing in Jammu wing of the High Court.
“The petition is listed tomorrow,” Advocate Gagan Basotra, who is counsel for petitioners, told news agency, Kashmir News Observer.
The Centre’s decision on April 29, to extend jurisdiction of CAT’s Chandigarh bench over J&K has triggered widespread resentment in both Kashmir Valley and Jammu region, with political parties and lawyer groups slamming the move.
Advocate Aditya Sharma and Advocate Ramesh Padha have challenged jurisdiction of CAT’s Chandigarh bench over J&K UT.
They have submitted that April 29 notification of Department of Personnel and Training(DOPT) is an “ex-facie arbitrary and capricious exercise of power, which have no nexus with the object to be achieved for which the Tribunals were created by way of 42nd Amendment in the Constitution of India”.
The petitioners have also submitted that unemployed youth would be severely handicapped Physically and financially to challenge selection matters before the CAT Chandigarh.
“That the right to speedy justice is a necessary concomitant of Article 21 of the Constitution of India. The Hon’ble Supreme Court has further held that the provision of speedy justice is an obligation of the State for otherwise the operation of the legal system would not promote justice as assured in the Preamble,” they submitted.
The notification would negate the justice delivery system in the context of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir which is geographically, culturally, linguistically and politically distinct than the rest of the country, according to petitoners.
“The large parts of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir are remote, inaccessible and even have no access to fast speed internet facilities due to the peculiar security threats as has been repeatedly admitted by the Respondents. The question of e-filling of cases and arguing cases by video conferencing by litigants and their advocates residing in those areas is a mere impossibility,” the petition states.
The petitioners have sought stay on the notification till the Supreme Court decides outcome of petitions challenging abrogation of Article 370 and Jammu & Kashmir Re-organisation Act.
“It is submitted that in case the aforesaid petitions are allowed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court, which would result in the constitutional position of the UT of Jammu and Kashmir prior to 05.08.2019 – the State of Jammu and Kashmir would stand revived along with un amended articles 370 of the Constitution of India and enforcement of the Constitution of the Erstwhile State of J&K,” the petioners claim.
“It is submitted that the consequent legal effect would be that the jurisdiction of the CAT would be ousted pertaining to the service disputes of the employees of the State of J&K, who are at present the employees of the UT of J&K,” reads the petition.