Abolition of SAT: Lawyers stir continues

Cuttack: Following a call by the Orissa High Court Bar Association, lawyers of all the bars in Cuttack have decided to boycott their respective courts tomorrow.

The decision in this regard was taken following an appeal by the Cuttack bench of the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) bar, HC bar body chief Ashok Mohapatra said.

“In view of the state government’s recent decision to abolish the SAT and, following a request made by the SAT bar, we have decided to abstain from court activities for a day on Wednesday.

“Accordingly, this decision has been communicated to all other court bars of the city,” Mohapatra said.

Lawyers affiliated to the Cuttack bench of the SAT bar are protesting against the move after the Cabinet decision to abolish SAT in the state came into effect last week.

The state Cabinet had last week approved the said decision on the grounds that the Tribunal set up in 1986 has not been able to achieve its desired goal.

With its principal bench at Bhubaneswar, the tribunal was functioning from its permanent and regular bench here at Cuttack along with circuit benches at Sambalpur and Berhampur.

The government’s contention is that following a Supreme Court decision in 1997, SAT has lost its significance.

The apex court had refused to entertain any petition challenging the decision of SAT if the petitioner had not appealed against the Tribunal’s decision in his or her respective high court.

Since HCs have become the first appellate authorities, the Tribunals have become redundant, the government argued while stating that the abolition of SAT would benefit the aggrieved government employees in getting quick justice.