An Intervention Application and Application for Clarifications/Directions has been filed in the Supreme Court in the case of Kudrat Sandhu vs. Union of India, which challenges the constitutional validity of the Appellate Tribunal and Other Authorities (Qualifications, Experience and Other Conditions of Service of Members) Rules, 2017.
The two Applications have been filed by Rajesh Kumar Singh, who is currently posted as the Additional District Judge in Cooch Behar, West Bengal. Mr Singh was recently appointed as Member (Judicial) in CESTAT, New Delhi.
The Applicant has sought, among other things, clarification from the Supreme Court on the age of retirement of Members of CESTAT.
Ashish Goel, Advocate, the counsel for Rajesh Kumar Singh explained: “The Supreme Court in Kudrat Sandhu, while staying the Appellate Tribunal and Other Authorities (Qualifications, Experience and Other Conditions of Service of Members) Rules, 2017, stated that the tenure of Members of Tribunals shall be for a period of five years or maximum age fixed under the old Rules. Under the old Rules, the age of retirement of Members of CESTAT is 62 years, but the Finance Ministry has proceeded to appoint Members of CESTAT for a period of five years. This contravenes the Supreme Court’s Order.”
Goel said that the Applicant is praying before the Supreme Court to clarify that the age of retirement of CESTAT Members be as per old Rules, that is, 62 years. A similar clarification was recently made by the Supreme Court in cases of appointment of ITAT Members.
The Application was filed through Mr. Rahul Jain, Advocate-on-Record, Supreme Court of India.