August 17, 2019 4:34:52 pm
The Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar association Friday announced to end their nearly three-week-long strike against the setting up of the Haryana Administrative Tribuna even as a senior official said that the quasi-judicial body will not become functional till the state government examines its “legality”, “workability” and “viability”.
DPS Randhawa and Rohit Sud, president and secretary of the Bar Association, submitted a letter before the full bench of Chief Justice Krishna Murari, Justice Rajiv Sharma, and Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain, stating that agitation over setting up of the tribunal will remain suspended and the work will resume from August 17.
In one of the longest ever strikes, the Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association had suspended work indefinitely after a notification was issued July 24 for setting up the tribunal to adjudicate over the service matters of the Haryana government employees. Thousands of cases that were with the high court was supposed to be transferred to the tribunal – the key issue over which the lawyers had been protesting.
Haryana Advocate General BL Mahajan said, based on orders by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, the process has been initiated for setting up this committee to examine the tribunal.
The government had already appointed the former Punjab and Haryana High Court judge, Justice Sneh Parashar, as the chairperson of the tribunal. A list of nearly 8,000 cases had been prepared to be transferred from the high court to the tribunal. However, talking to The Indian Express, Mahajan said, “No case has been transferred to the tribunal. Only a list was prepared. The high court will continue to hear those cases”.
A day after the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions issued the notification for establishing the tribunal in Haryana, the judges at the High Court had stopped hearing the service matters from the state with the reasoning that the court no more had the power in view of the notification.
Meanwhile, as per a notification issued on August 2 by chief secretary Keshni Anand Arora, Haryana Governor has constituted a selection committee for the purpose of selection of members of the tribunal. The notification was published in the official gazette on August 13.
As per the notification, Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court will be the chairman, chief secretary of Haryana government, chairman of the state administrative tribunal and chairman of the Haryana Public Service Commission will be the members of the committee.
This “selection committee” will devise its own procedure or lay down guidelines for inviting applications for the selection of the members of the tribunal. “The recommendations of the selection committee will be submitted with the approval of Hon’ble Governor to Government of India for approval of the competent authority,” the notification reads.
Mahajan, however, said: “Members will not be appointed till the committee constituted on August 9 to check viability, workability and legality of the tribunal gives its report. However, the chairperson will continue to function because there are several other procedures that need to be fulfilled at the chairperson’s level, like recruitment of staff. Those procedures will continue, but the chairperson will not be exercising any judicial role till the committee constituted to examine workability and viability of the tribunal examines the issue and gives a go ahead”.
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