HP Assembly adopts bill amid walkout by Opposition

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Shimla, Sept 04 (UNI) The Himachal Pradesh Assembly today passed the'HP Administrative Tribunal (transfer of decided and pending cases and applications) Bill 2008' amid walkout by the opposition.

The bill seeks to transfer all decided and pending cases to the high court and civil courts, as the case may be, after the abolition of the adminsitrative tribunal. The bill would replace an ordinace issued on July 24, 2008 by Himachal Pradesh Governor.

Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, who was replying to the debate on the bill, said when the government decided to close down the tribunal huge number of cases were pending before it. This had defeated the very purpose of providing peedy justice to government employees.

He said as the himachal high court had a full bench of 11 judges now, supporting another 4 judges of the tribunal was a financial burden on the state exchequer.

He said that when the tribunal was set up in the state the strength of judges in the high court was 6 which had now gone upto eleven. Therefore keeping in view of the present strength, the service matters of the employees can now be handled by the high court more expeditiously.

He said that keeping in view the large number of pending cases, it was decided to request the governement of india for abolition of the Himachal Pradesh administrateive tribunal in large interest of the public.

He denied that the tribunal had been scrapped due to political vendetta, saying that number of cases were pending in the tribunal since its inception.

The bill would replace an ordinace issued on July 24, 2008 by himachal pradesh governor, he added.

However, dissatisfied with the reply, the opposition walked out from the house, demanding withdrawl of the bill. Later the bill was adopted in the absence of opposition by voice vote.

Earlier Former Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh while opposing the bill, called it anti-employees. He alleged that Mr Dhumal was angry with the functioning of the tribunal because it has created hassle by staying number of transfer cases after coming into power.

CLP leader Vidya Stokes said the government took u-turn by scraping the state tribunal while it had promised to create two branches of the tribunal in its manifesto.

Among those who participated in the debate included Mr Kaul Singh Thukur, Mr Kuldeep Singh Pathania and Mr Gangu Ram Musafir (All Congress) and Mr Rakesh Pathaina and Mr Roop Singh (both BJP).

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