Abolition of SAT: Lawyers’ Body Observes One-Day Cease-Work Agitation

Bhubaneswar: Protesting abolition of Odisha State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) by the Central government, the SAT Bar Association is observing one-day cease-work agitation today.

Lawyers of all the lower courts have joined the cease-work protest of SAT Bar Association. Members of the Bhubaneswar Bar Association have also extended their support to the agitation. As a mark of protest, they are wearing black badges and sat on a dharna in front of the Khurda District & Sessions Judge Court.

“We are protesting the issuance of gazette notification for abolition of the Odisha State Administrative Tribunal by the Centre. The absence of members in the tribunal had led to piling up of cases. There were over 70,000 cases in 2017. However, it has now increased to 74,000 cases. Instead of finding a solution as to how the cases can be resolved, the Centre has taken the decision to scrap the tribunal which is very unfortunate. If no action is taken now, it will impact not only the lawyers but also every state government employees,” informed Prakash Kumar Rout, Secretary of SAT Bar Association.

The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) under the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions issued a gazette notification to execute State government’s proposal for abolishing the SAT on August 5. However, citing the decision as ‘illegal’ and ‘ultra vires,’ the SAT Bar Association had moved the Orissa High Court on August 7.

Later the High Court rejected the plea seeking stay on abolition of SAT and ordered both the Central government and State to submit their take on the matter. The next hearing into the matter has been scheduled on September 5.