High Court reduces pendency of tribunal cases

Shimla: Though a section of employees keeps demanding re-opening of the state administrative tribunal (SAT) but in three years after it was shut down, the High Court has reduced the backlog considerably while the fresh cases are being dealt on a regular basis.

A court spokesman disclosed that of the huge backlog of cases transferred to the High Court in 2008, less than 10 percent were pending while the rest had been decided.

“Currently there are 1996 employee related cases pending from the large number of cases that were transferred to the High Court in 2008,” said the High Court spokesperson.

“The pending cases include 1838 petitions, 122 executive petitions, 15 contempt cases and 21 civil reviews,” she said.

Departing from the party election agenda, early in the term, chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal on July 8, 2008 had annulled a 1986 notification under which the SAT had been set up in the first place.

With rescinding of the notification, the tribunal which was a redressal forum for service related matters for government employee stood abolished.

Defending the government’s stance in the assembly later, chief minister Dhumal had said that SAT had been abolished because of long delays in administration of justice.

He had disclosed that there were 24,290 cases pending with SAT, which were to be transferred to the High Court after the tribunal was disbanded.

“In some instances the delay was such that hundreds of employees have retired out awaiting justice from the tribunal,” Dhumal had said.

Though BJP election manifesto had plans for expanding SAT and had even proposed setting up of another two member bench at Dharamshala but after SAT was shut down, the government had claimed it would result in an annual saving of Rs 2 Cr to the state exchequer.

About fresh cases related employee service matter, the court spokesperson said that they were being dealt on a regular basis.

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