Image Source: Livelaw.in
Deputy Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Dinesh Sharma introduced the Uttar Pradesh Education Service Tribunal Bill, 2021, in the state Assembly on Thursday 18th Feb 2021, the first day of the Budget session. The bill was introduced in response to the government's decision to withdraw a similar bill that was introduced and passed in 2019 but is still awaiting Presidential assent. Thus, the new Bill has been introduced with the required amendment
The Uttar Pradesh Service Tribunal Bill, 2021 proposes the creation of a tribunal to expedite the resolution of service cases involving teaching and non-teaching staff of Educational Institutions receiving financial assistance under the UP-State Universities Act, 1973.
According to the proposed legislation, the Tribunal's headquarters would be in Lucknow, with a bench in Prayagraj. The proposed tribunal would have a Chairman who will be selected in accordance with the procedure.
The Chairman will have the authority to set the days of the Tribunal's sittings in Lucknow and Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh for adjudication of the cases that come before it.
OBJECTIVES OF THE BILL
The objects and reasons for introducing the Bill is Due to rapid growth of litigation involving service matters involving teachers and non-teaching employees of basic, secondary, and higher educational institutions, there was an urgent need to provide a mechanism for speedy resolution of their disputes in order to maintain and improve the quality of efficient functioning of institutions of basic, secondary, and higher educational institutions.
The state government attempted to create the Uttar Pradesh Education Services Tribunal at Lucknow in 2019 by introducing the UP-Education Service Tribunal Bill. And I think this is one of the reasons that outraged lawyers, especially those practicing at the Allahabad Bench, who demanded that they be excused from work.
The 2019 Bill was opposed not only because it sought to create the Education Tribunal in Lucknow, but also because the State government was accused of circumventing the judicial process and diluting the High Court's writ jurisdiction.
Controversy rose again after the government's proposal to create an Education Services Tribunal in the state, the Allahabad High Court Bar Association and the Awadh Bar Association have been at odds. The controversy is over whether the Tribunal should be built in Prayagraj, where the High Court's Principal Seat is located, or in Lucknow, which was first proposed by the State Government in 2019.
In comparison to the Lucknow Bench, the High Court Bench in Allahabad has more jurisdiction over matters that occur in Uttar Pradesh. Another reason the Avadh Bar Association has been avoiding work is because of this. The jurisdiction should be re-distributed fairly, according to others.
The Uttar Pradesh Education Service Tribunal Bill, 2021, which was introduced in the state Assembly in February this year, proposes that the Tribunal be divided into two benches, one in Lucknow and the other in Allahabad (now known as Prayagraj).
Both Bar Associations have been resisting the Bill by going on strike for different reasons: the HCBA, Allahabad, objected to the Bill because it proposes to create the Tribunal's Principal Bench in Lucknow, while the Awadh Bar Association is upset about the Tribunal's bifurcation into two locations.
Members are also concerned about the establishment of the GST and Company Law Appellate Tribunals. The government had previously stated that these tribunals will be based in Lucknow, but nothing has been announced as of yet.
The Allahabad Bar, on the other hand, has been fighting the establishment due to Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma's earlier assurance that the Education Tribunal's Principal Bench will be formed in Allahabad, but when the bill was passed by the government, it was announced that the main bench would be located in Lucknow rather than Allahabad.
According to the members of the Governing Council, there are approximately 14-15 courts in Allahabad that deal solely with educational issues. In Lucknow, however, there are only 4-5 such courts. As a result, they are arguing that the Tribunal's main seat should be in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh.
Objective of the Bill is to rapid growth of litigation involving service matters, involving teachers and non-teaching employees of basic, secondary, and higher educational institutions. And according to me the education sector is one of the biggest litigation markets in India. Hence both the parties wants the tribunal to set near their locality, for their own personal benefit.
Also, due to the impasse on the subject, both Bar Associations have decided to go on strike. The lawyers have decided to take a break from judicial work before the government responds to their demands. Strikes have been extended until March 1 for the time being. Peaceful.
1. Ahmed, A. (2021). Why Bar Associations in Uttar Pradesh are abstaining from judicial work. Retrieved 4 March 2021, from https://www.barandbench.com/news/litigation/why-bar-associations-in-uttar-pradesh-are-abstaining-from-judicial-work
2. Uttar Pradesh: Education service tribunal Bill tabled in first budget session. (2021). Retrieved 4 March 2021, from https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/lucknow/uttar-pradesh-education-service-tribunal-bill-tabled-in-first-budget-session-7195071/