Supreme Court strikes down rules on tribunal postings


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Various tribunals

Mains level : Not Much

A Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court struck down in entirety Rules framed by the government under the Finance Act of 2017 to alter the appointments to 19 key judicial tribunals, including the Central Administrative Tribunal.

Why it was struck down?

  • The Section 184 of the Finance Act, 2017 suffered from excessive delegation of legislative functions.
  • It was under Section 184 that the 2017 Rules regarding appointment of tribunals were framed.
  • One of the major grounds of challenge to the Finance Act was on the ground that the same was passed as a Money Bill.
  • It was the petitioners’ case that the passage of the Finance Act in the form of a Money Bill’ was entirely inappropriate and amounted to a fraud on the Constitution.
  • The petitions had stated that the provisions of Finance Act 2017 affected the powers and structures of various judicial tribunals such as National Green Tribunal, Income Tax Appellate Tribunal, National Company Law Tribunal and National Company Law Appellate Tribunal.

What did the court ruled?

  • The court ordered the Centre to re-formulate the Rules within six months strictly in conformity with the principles delineated by the Supreme Court.
  • The new set of Rules to be formulated by the Central Government shall ensure non-discriminatory and uniform conditions of service, including assured tenure.
  • The court further ordered the Union Ministry of Law and Justice to conduct a ‘Judicial Impact Assessment’ of tribunals to analyse the ramifications of the changes caused by the Finance Act, 2017.
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