Odisha Administrative Tribunal to be abolished

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Bhubaneswar: The state government today decided to abolish the Odisha Administrative Tribunal after it felt that the very objective of the institution to give quick justice to employees could not be achieved.

“Accordingly, the proposal for abolition of OAT was considered by the Cabinet and approved in principle,” chief secretary G C Pati told reporters while briefing on the decisions taken at the cabinet meeting chaired by chief minister Naveen Patnaik.

Pati said that as some states, including Madhya Pradesh, have already abolished the state administrative tribunals, the Odisha government would move the Centre seeking its nod for executing its decision.

The state will also hold discussion with the High Court for creating more judges in the High Court if necessary and to discuss with High Court as to how the pending cases in the tribunal will be dealt.

Pati said the aggrieved employees can go to high court to redress their grievances instead of approaching the Tribunal. “The state government will make required arrangement with consultation with the High Court to deal with cases of employees,” Pati said.

Asked the reason behind the decision to abolish the tribunal which was established on July 14, 1986 under the Administrative Tribunal Act, 1985, Pati said with the decision of the Supreme Court in L Chandra Kumar (1997) the provision of the Act that aggrieved parties could appeal to the Supreme Court against order of the Tribunal was held unconstitutional, as it was deemed to be inconsistent with the basic structure of the Constitution.

Hence, the parties aggrieved with the orders by the Tribunal may approach the high court first, Pati said adding that therefore, the very objective of the establishment of the tribunal to give quick justice could not be achieved.

As many as 31,820 cases are pending in the Odisha Administrative Tribunal for disposal by December, 2014, Pati said.

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