The Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir will soon be covered by the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) and it will have jurisdiction to handle disputes and other issues related to the UT services there, Union Minister Jitendra Singh here on Sunday. CAT so far had jurisdiction only over central services issues in Jammu and Kashmir.
Addressing the annual conference of CAT, he said the tribunal will soon cover the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and will also have jurisdiction to handle disputes and other issues related to the non-central and UT services there.
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The Union Minister for PMO said that in due course of time, an exclusive bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal will be set up in Jammu and Kashmir and till then the Chandigarh bench of the tribunal may attend to the service disputes and other cases from the Union territory. The Centre on August 5 had abrogated Article 370 provisions of the Constitution which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir and divided it into two Union Territories.
Singh also disclosed that very soon more members will be appointed to the CAT. the process is already going on and shall be completed soon, he said. One of the requirements projected by the CAT chairman is vacant posts in the tribunal, which presently has only 39 members against the total strength of 66. The government is seriously working to fill the vacant posts, he said.
Singh lauded the working of the CAT, its chairman and its members, and said that in spite of increasing workload and the rise in the number of cases with the passage of time, the disposal rate is 100 per cent. He, however, expressed concern over the number of appeals going to High Courts and Supreme Court against the CAT decisions and this, to some extent, defeated the very purpose for which the tribunal had been envisaged. The conference was presided over by Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and attended, among others, by Supreme Court judge N V Ramana, Justice of Delhi High Court Dhirubhai Naranbhai Patel, CAT chairman Justice L Narasimha Reddy among others.