Belagavi KAT bench closes ‘temporarily’

The sitting of Belagavi bench of the Karnataka State Administrative Tribunal (KAT)  has been cancelled “temporarily,” within one month of its inauguration due to “administrative reasons.” The bench was inaugurated on December 17, 2018 with an aim to dispose long-pending cases.

With a large number of service matters pending for disposal, advocates from the North Karnataka region were demanding for a KAT bench in Belagavi. The Siddaramaiah government in 2015 decided to set up two benches - in Belagavi and Kalaburagi. The first bench was set up three years later.

According to a notification issued by the Karnataka State Administrative Tribunal on January 11, 2019, the sitting has been “cancelled with effect from January 16, 2019 until further orders.” The notification stated that Justice A V Chandrashekara, judicial member KAT, was constituted to function at Belagavi bench with effect from January 2, 2019. Justice Chandrashekara was on casual leave from January 2 to 4, 2019.

The principal bench has transferred and listed 150 cases before the Belagavi bench to be taken up for hearing between January 7 and 19.  Justice Chandrashekara held sitting for two days, January 7 and 8, and adjourned all the cases, except 18 applications, and returned to Bengaluru.

The notification further stated that a request was made from the judicial member’s office to post 70 cases on January 16 and 50 cases on January 17 before the Belagavi bench.

“It is also stated in the note that the Hon’ble judicial member can sit at Belagavi bench only for two days in a week. Keeping in view the cost that would be incurred for to and from journey of the member and personal staff and other staff members for two days in a week from Bengaluru to Belagavi and back and shifting of records to and fro, holding of sitting only for two days in a week at Belagavi is not viable and worthy,’’ the notification stated.

Registrar KAT, Amaranarayana K, said the sitting at Belagavi bench would resume soon. “The sitting will not be there for time being. It is because of administrative reasons,’’ he said.

The cases from Belagavi, Bagalkot, Ballari, Dharwad, Gadag, Haveri, Koppal and Uttara Kannada were to be tried at the Belagavi bench. A total of 2,644 cases from these districts are pending.

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