“The delay in appointment of members is again not only at the cost of litigants but at the cost of exchequer. If at any stage, there is a delay in taking decisions…suppose that there is a verdict to reinstate (a person) with entitlements after a gap of 10 years… Now after 10 years the government has to pay that person without any work of his. This will be a burden on the public exchequer,” said Justice Bhandari at the 45th foundation day of the tribunal at Indira Bhawan in Lucknow. Justice Bhandari was the chief guest at the programme.
There should be a realisation that loss to the exchequer is taking place and vacancies should be filled at the earliest so that cases are disposed of expeditiously, he said, adding, “This is also an occasion to ponder over the pendency due to the scarcity of members. We know how (litigants’) families get affected due to delay.” Justice Bhandari’s observation came in response to the State Public Services Tribunal chairman Justice Sudhir Kumar Saxena’s announcement that the tribunal would shelve hearing in cases beyond 2009 due to the absence of members.
Speaking on the occasion, Justice Saxena said judgments are delivered by the tribunal within two to three months. “About 94% of tribunal judgments were upheld by the Supreme Court and the high court as they were based on facts and law. But now I have to make a painful announcement that now onwards only hearing in cases up to 2009 will be taken due to the absence of bench. However, cases prioritised by the SC and HC would be an exception,” Justice Saxena said.
State Public Services Tribunal addresses pertaining to the service matter of employees across the state. At present, the tribunal only has a chairman and three members against the total strength of 13.
As of November 1, 2019, a total 9,576 cases are pending in the tribunal due to staff crunch.