The Tribune: Haryana: Chandigadh: Thursday, May 4, 2017.
After getting the Haryana Administrative Tribunal (HAT) notified under the Administrative Tribunal Act, 1985, a Central Act, the state government will now table a Bill for a state Act in the Assembly tomorrow, reportedly to avoid appointment of its chairman by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
RTI activist and advocate Hemant Kumar, who has obtained all official notings in this regard, has written to the Governor, requesting him to stop the state government from going ahead with the move.
He has termed the Haryana Government’s action of enacting its state Act on an issue which is governed by a Central Act in other states against the spirit of the Constitution.
A perusal of information obtained by him revealed that the state government wrote to the Centre’s Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) on June 5, 2015, for approval of HAT as contained in section 4, sub-section (2), of the Administrative Tribunal Act, 1985.
On August 13, 2015, the DoPT issued a notification, stating that the provisions related to HAT would come into effect on September 10.
The DoPT wrote to the state government on July 16, asking it to determine the number of courts in each Bench and complete the procedure for appointment of chairman and members of the proposed HAT under the provisions of Administrative Tribunal Act.
The DoPT stated in the letter that the chairman of the proposed HAT should be nominated by the Chief Justice of the High Court and approved by the Governor before his name was sent to the department for its approval.
Following this, the state government wrote a letter to the department on August 3, 2015, requesting it to indicate the enabling provisions under which the chairman of HAT was supposed to be nominated by the Chief Justice of the High Court. “No such rule has been found in the provisions attached,” wrote the state government.
In its reply on August 24, the DoPT told the state government that in the absence of rules for appointment of chairman, it should address the Chief Justice of the state to nominate a sitting or retired High Court Judge as the chairman.
“While the notification issued by the DoPT was for setting up of the HAT under the Central Act, the state government now wants to pass its own state Act on the subject to circumvent the appointment of chairman by the High Court,” alleged Hemant Kumar.
Chief Secretary DS Dhesi could not be contacted for comment. Legal Remembrance Kuldeep Jain said the draft rules were prepared by administrative departments and his department just did the vetting.