The Supreme Court has sought the Centre’s view within two weeks on bringing all the Tribunals under one central umbrella body to ensure efficient functioning and streamlining the working of tribunals. Earlier, the Supreme Court in its two verdicts of 1997 and 2010 had directed government to bring all the tribunals under one central umbrella.
The Supreme Court is hearing a petition challenging certain provisions of the Finance Act,2017.The act allows the central government to specify the appointments,tenure,removal and reappointment of chairpersons and members of Tribunals including National Green Tribunal (NGT) through Rules.Earlier,these provisions were specified in the parent laws establishing these Tribunals.The Bill also replace certain existing Tribunals and transfer their functions to other Tribunals.
The petitioners have claimed that the Finance Bill provisions violated the independence and powers of the judiciary and that the new rules will encroach upon the principle of separation of powers.
Earlier,theSupreme Court had stayed parts of amendments to the Finance Act, 2017,and said appointments to all the tribunals would be made as per earlier rules,until the pleas challenging the provision of the bill are decided.
Tribunals were added by the Constitution(Forty-second Amendment) Act,1976 as Part XIV-A, which has only two articles viz. 323-A and 323-B. While article 323-A deals with Administrative Tribunals; article 323-B deals with tribunals for other matters.The ‘tribunals’ are not courts of normal jurisdiction,but they have very specific and predefined work area.