HC Rules Out CAT’s Jurisdiction Over J&K Bank Hiring

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JK Bank Headquarters in Srinagar (File Photo: Abid Bhat / KO)

Srinagar:  Central Administrative Act (CAT) does not have the jurisdiction over selection process by J&K Bank regarding 1850 posts of Probationary Officers and Banking Associates, Jammu and Kashmir High Court ruled on Friday.

“It cannot be said that sub-section (3) of Section 14 of the CAT Act applies to the Bank or the instant recruitment process of the Bank,” a bench of Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey said.

“Resultantly, it is held that the CAT does not have the jurisdiction under Section 14 in relation to the subject matter of controversy in the instant case; and, further, that this Court continues to have the jurisdiction in relation thereto to entertain this petition,” he added.

Last week, the court had reserved its decision on the plea whether it or CAT has the jurisdiction over the matter.

J&K government through its Advocate General D C Raina had told the court that the CAT not the high court had jurisdiction over the matter.

The Advocate General had submitted that after the establishment of the CAT for the Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh, all the jurisdiction, powers and authority which were exercisable by High Court immediately before establishment of the CAT in relation to the matters enumerated thereunder, in terms of Sub-Section (1) of Section 14 of the CAT Act are exercisable by the CAT as the court of first instance. He had made specific reference to the words ‘recruitment, and matters concerning recruitment’ occurring in Clause (a) of Sub-section (1) of Section 14 and submitted that since the instant matter relates to recruitment in the Bank, declared as a public authority, all jurisdiction and powers and authority in relation thereto lies with the CAT.

Advocate Jehangir Iqbal Ganai, senior counsel, for the petitioners had submitted that the instant matter does not fall within the purview of sub-section (1) of Section 14, but is covered by sub-section (3) thereof, which exclusively refers to ‘any local or other authority or corporation or society’.

However, he had submitted that the provision of sub-section (3) does not have an automatic application to local or other authorities or corporations or societies, but this provision is to be applied by the Central Government by notification.

“It is not that the Central Government has not issued any notification in exercise of the powers under sub-section 2 of Section 14 of the Act applying the provision of sub-section (3), “ the court observed, “adding, “ Certain documents / notifications issued by the Central Government, from time to time, in exercise of such power under sub-section (2) of Section 14 have been placed before the Court which depict that so far nearly 214 organizations, by their name, have been brought under the purview of sub-section (3) of Section 14 of the CAT Act; the J&K Bank, in any case, is not one amongst them.” (GNS)

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