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Odisha LoP presses for Special Service bench

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Sep 12:

Senior Congress leader and Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the Odisha Assembly Narsingh Mishra today demanded the setting up of a Special Service bench of High Court in lieu of Odisha Administrative Tribunal (OAT), which the state cabinet hasdecided to abolish.

OAT

“A Special Service bench of High Court should be established where service related matters/disputes would be heard. It should be headquartered in Bhubaneswar and the circuit benches should be established in Brahmapur and Sambalpur on the lines of State Administrative Tribunal (SAT). The circuit courts should also be established in other parts of the state,” the former Law Commission member demanded while addressing mediapersons here today.

Expressing concern over the piling up of service-related cases post the abolishment of OAT, the High Court Bar association has said it won’t be appropriate decision to abolish the tribunal as lakhs of state government employees would lose a forum for justice.

“The government should think long and hard before abolishing it. In case of abolition, government employees would lose a forum,” High Court Bar Association president Dr Ashok Mohapatra said.

Government employees would not face any problem after the abolition of OAT if an alternate forum is established, experts opined.

The cabinet had given its stamp of approval to the state government’s in-principle decision to abolish the OAT, earlier known as the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT), and approach the Centre for its approval.

Notably, OAT was set up in 1986 to provide legal relief to state government employees. Since then, a total 2, 66,911 cases have been filed in the tribunal till date of which 2, 8, 0677 have been disposed of. However, over 58,000 cases are yet to be disposed of at the Odisha Administrative Tribunal.