Congress stages walkout from Himachal assembly

September 4th, 2008 - 9:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Shimla, Sep 4 (IANS) The Congress Thursday staged a walkout from the Himachal Pradesh assembly, demanding restoration of the state administrative tribunal that was scrapped by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government. Debating on the bill introduced by the government in the house Tuesday regarding the transfer of pending tribunal cases to other courts, former chief minister Virbhadra Singh said the administrative tribunal had been abolished by the government solely on political lines.

“The tribunal was scrapped due to political considerations as a large number of stays had been granted against the transfers ordered by the BJP regime,” he said.

“The Congress regime had set up the tribunal in 1986 to hear employees’ issues. The move to abolish the tribunal is against the election manifesto of the BJP that had promised to not only strengthen it but also set up its permanent benches at Mandi and Dharamsala towns,” the former chief minister said.

“We will again set up the tribunal whenever we will come to power,” he added.

Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee president Kaul Singh said: “The Congress is strongly opposed to the decision of abolishing the tribunal as it is an anti-employees step.”

Replying to the discussion, Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal said the tribunal was scrapped keeping in mind the interests of the state.

“The government was spending a huge amount from its exchequer to run the tribunal as about 23,000 cases were pending with it,” he said.

This agitated the members of the Opposition, who walked out from the assembly.

Later, the assembly passed with majority the bill on the transfer of pending tribunal cases to subordinate courts and high court.

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