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One CAT Bench Each At Srinagar, Jammu: HC Seeks ‘Competent Authority’s’ View By May 29

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Srinagar, May 19: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Tuesday sought “competent authority’s” view on suggestion for one CAT bench each at Jammu and Srinagar for now.
Hearing separate petitions, a division bench of Justices Rajesh Bindal and Sanjay Dhar asked Vishal Sharma, Assistant Solicitor General of India, to seek instructions from the “competent authority” about the suggestion made by Abhinav Sharma, president Jammu Bar Association, about one bench each at Jammu and Srinagar.
Abhinav Sharma submitted that considering that on an average 25-30 cases are filed daily before both the benches of the High Court pertaining to service matters, one bench in Jammu and Kashmir may not be sufficient. “There should be at least be one bench each at Jammu and Srinagar, to start with,” he said.
Earlier, the ASGI Vishal Sharma, submitted that immediate steps are being taken to constitute bench of CAT in J&K and it has been decided to station a bench “here”. But, he said, for the purpose proper infrastructure will be required, such as court rooms and the residential accommodation for the members of the bench. “Number of members of bench will be decided by the Chairman of CAT considering the requirement as per the cases filed and transferred from High Court,” he said.
He submitted that the moment accommodation is provided to CAT, required staff shall be deputed to take charge of files of the pending cases from the High Court.
Advocate General D C Raina suggested one complex for using as court by CAT at Jammu—the building where earlier Accountability Commission was functional.
He submitted that some other suitable vacant government building can also be short listed. He also apprised the court that one building was short listed at Srinagar also but the same having been declared as heritage building another one is being located. He said the needful shall be done in a couple of days. As far as residential accommodation for the members of CAT is concerned, the top law officer of the J&K submitted that there are number of Government houses lying vacant at Jammu as well as Srinagar.
“The allotment shall be made befitting the status of the members of CAT,” he said.
He further suggested that some officer from CAT may inspect the premises regarding their suitability so that further steps could be taken
“Let Mr. Sharma, learned ASGI seek instructions from the competent authority about the suggestion made by Mr. Abhinav Sharma, about one bench each at Jammu and Srinagar to start with,” the court said.
“He will also coordinate with Mr Aseem Sawhney, learned AAG for inspection of the buildings for the benches at Jammu and Srinagar and also the residential accommodation, to be provided to the members of the CAT,” the court added while adjourning the matter till May 29.

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