Lawyers’ Body Moves HC After Centre Abolishes State Administrative Tribunal

Bhubaneswar: A day after the Central government abolished the Odisha State Administrative Tribunal (SAT), SAT Bar Association has moved the Orissa High Court citing the decision as ‘illegal’ and ‘ultra vires’. After a writ petition by the lawyers challenging the development, the High Court has informed that it will hear the case tomorrow.

Cuttack SAT Bar Association president Dhuliram Patnaik said, “The Advocate General had earlier promised us that the vacancies plaguing the SAT would be filled up and fixed August 8 as the deadline. At present, though the tribunal has a sanctioned strength of six members including a chairman, it is functioning with only an acting chairman. The absence of members in the tribunal has led to piling up of over 70,000 cases.”

Instead of finding any alternative to resolve the shortage of members in the SAT or judges in Orissa High Court, the abolishment of SAT is an unwelcomed step, he added.

The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) under the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions on Monday issued a gazette notification to execute State government’s proposal for abolishing the SAT.

The State government had earlier moved the Centre seeking its nod for scrapping the tribunal after getting permission from the Orissa High Court. The State cabinet had also approved winding up of SAT in September 2015.

Established on 14th July 1986 under the Administrative Tribunal Act (1985) to ensure quick delivery of justice, the SAT is headquartered in Bhubaneswar and has a regular bench in Cuttack apart from circuit benches in Sambalpur and Berhampur.