New Delhi, Jul 14 (ILNS) The Supreme Court today struck down the provisions of the Tribunal Reforms (Rationalisation and Conditions of Service) Ordinance, 2021, which fixed the term of members of various tribunals as four years, stating that the decision of the Government is irrational, arbitrary and discriminatory.
Justice L Nageswara Rao said it appears the decision of the Government is contrary to the findings of this Court, which were passed earlier. “Decision of the Government is unconstitutional,” he said.
Justice Rao and Justice S Ravindra Bhat gave the concurring judgement with Justice Bhat giving a separate reasoning in his verdict. “I concur with the finding of Justice L Nageswara Rao. These courts are the roots of the independence of the judiciary. It’s different from the policy decision of the Government… No basis was given and (is) discriminatory. The first proviso to section 181 is unconstitutional,” said Justice Bhat.
Justice Hemant Gupta gave a dissenting judgment. The Supreme Court pronounced its decision on the plea filed by the Madras Bar Association challenging Sections 12 and 13 of the Tribunal Reforms (Rationalisation and Conditions of Service) Ordinance, 2021 and Sections 184 and 186(2) of the Finance Act, 2017 as amended.
The bench had reserved its order on petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Tribunal Reforms (Rationalisation and Conditions of Service) Ordinance, 2021, which sought to differ from the Supreme Court mandate for a five-year tenure to chairpersons and members of tribunals by prescribing a four-year tenure; also fixing eligibility age at 50, which negated the court order for allowing lawyers with 10 years experience to be in the zone of consideration. ILNS/KR/RJ/SNG