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MATTER IN ISSUE?

• The Madras Bar Association filed a Writ Petition against the Union of India and Another challenging the Tribunal, Appellate Tribunal and other Authorities (qualifications, experience and other conditions of service of members) Rules, 2020 for contravening the principle of separation of powers.

• The Supreme Court had reserved its order on October 9 last month. Attorney General Venugopal appeared for the Union and Senior Counsels Siddharth Luthra and CS Vaidyanathan appeared for the two applicants.

• The three judges Bench of Justices L. Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta and S. Ravindra Bhat were hearing the plea.

• The writ petition states that the 2020 rules are in violation of several orders that upheld the non-interference of the executive in the appointments of the judiciary.

DECISION OF THE SUPREME COURT

• The Supreme Court has passed directions for setting up of the National Tribunals Commission for appointment of members in various tribunals.

• It has directed Centre to constitute a separate wing in the Ministry of Finance to deal with the appointments till the Commission is set up.

• SC has held that all appointments made prior to 2020 Rules which came into force on 12/02/2020 shall be governed by the Parent Acts and Rules.

• Any appointment made after the 2020 Rules have came into force shall be in accordance with the 2020 Rules subject to certain modifications as the Court directed.

THE NATIONAL TRIBUNALS COMMISSION

• The Supreme Court directed that the Union of India shall constitute a National Tribunals Commission which shall act as an independent body.

• The Commission would supervise the appointments of members in various Tribunals and functioning of the Tribunals.

• The Commission would also be empowered to conduct disciplinary proceedings against members of the Tribunals.

• It shall be the duty of the NTC to take care of the administrative and infrastructural needs of the Tribunals in an appropriate manner.

MODIFICATIONS BY SC IN 2020 RULES

• Instead of the four-member Search-cum-Selection Committees provided for in Column (4) of the Schedule to the 2020 Rules, the said Committees would comprise of five members as stated in judgment.

• Rule 4(2) shall be amended so that the Search-cum-Selection Committee shall recommend the name of one person for appointment to each post.

• Rule 9(2) shall be amended to provide that the Vice-Chairman, Vice Chairperson and Vice President and other members shall hold office till the age of sixty-seven years.

• The Union of India shall make serious efforts to provide suitable housing to the Chairman or Chairperson or President and other members of the Tribunals.

• Advocates with an experience of at least 10 years shall be made eligible for appointment as judicial members in the Tribunals, and shall be entitled to reappointments based on services rendered by them.

MODIFICATIONS BY SC IN 2020 RULES

• The members of the Indian Legal Service shall be eligible for appointment as judicial members in the Tribunals, if they fit to the qualifications.

• /span>Rule 8 shall be amended to reflect that the recommendations of the Search-cum-Selection Committee in matters of disciplinary actions shall be final and shall be implemented by the Central Government.

• The Union of India shall make appointments to Tribunals within three months from the date on which the Search-cum-Selection Committee completes the selection process and makes its recommendations.

• The terms and conditions relating to salary, benefits, allowances, house rent allowance etc. shall be in accordance with the terms indicated in, and directed by this judgment.

What do you think about the Supreme Court’s decision? Let us know in the comments section below!

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