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SC notice to Centre on plea challenging abolition of Odisha Administrative Tribunal

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought responses from the Centre and others on a plea challenging the abolition of the Odisha Administrative Tribunal (OAT).

A three-judge bench comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao, Sanjiv Khanna and B R Gavai issued notices to the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pension, Odisha government and others and sought their response within eight weeks.

The apex court was hearing an appeal filed by Orissa Administrative Tribunal Bar Association against a high court order that upheld the notification issued by the Department of Personnel and Training of the central government dated August 2, 2019 which abolished OAT.

The high court had noted in its order that there was sufficient material to support the view of the state government that OAT has not served the purpose of delivery of speedy justice to litigants.

The appeal contended that the Centre had issued a notification abolishing OAT by invoking Section 21 of the General Clauses Act, 1897 (GCA) when the parent Act i.e. the Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985 (AT Act) implicitly denied the exercise of such power.

“In the present case, the Centre could not invoke Section 21 of GCA to do indirectly that which was prohibited to be done directly under the AT Act, and by upholding the illegal and arbitrary decision of the government, the impugned judgment is liable to be set aside,” OAT said in its plea.

 

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