SC sets aside tribunal reforms provision fixing 4-yr term for members

Insight Online News

New Delhi, July 14 : The Supreme Court on Wednesday set aside the provisions in the Tribunals Reforms Ordinance 2021, fixing four-year term of members of various tribunals.

The judgment was delivered by a bench comprising of justices L. Nageswarao Rao, Hemant Gupta and Ravindra Bhat on a plea by Madras Bar Association, challenging the Sections 12 and 13 of the Ordinance by which Sections 184 and 186(2) of the Finance Act, 2017 was amended.

The top court said ordinance’s provisions will not apply to appointments made prior to its notification. The Tribunals Reforms (Rationalisation and Conditions of Service) Ordinance, 2021, issued by the Ministry of Law and Justice, was notified on April 4.

The majority judgment by justices Rao and Bhat held that this term violated the express direction given in an earlier judgment that the term of tribunal members should be 5 years. Accordingly, the bench set aside those provisions. However, Justice Gupta delivered a dissenting judgment and dismissed the petition.

Sections 184 and 186 of the Finance Act, 2017 gave Centre the power to make rules in connection with the mode of appointment, terms of service, allowances of members etc, of various tribunals.


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