SC Issues Interim Directions On Appointments In Tribunals; Orders Forming Search-Cum-Selection Panel On Judicial/Admin Members [Read Order]
The Supreme Court, in an important order, accepted suggestions made by the Central Administrative Tribunal Bar Association with regard to appointments of chairpersons and judicial/administrative/technical/expert members for all tribunals.
As per the interim order, during the pendency, an interim search-cum-selection committee will be constituted in respect of both judicial/administrative members.
The bench was hearing writ petitions challenging sections 182, 183, 184 and 185 of the Finance Act of 2017 and the rules framed under the said Section 184, in so far as the rules leave the appointment, tenure and removal of presiding officers and members of 18 tribunals at the behest of the executive and dilute the qualification criterion in respect thereof.
These were the suggestions made before the bench by senior advocate Aryama Sundaram comprising of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice DY Chandrachud:
- Staying the composition of Search-cum-Selection Committee as prescribed in Column 4 of the Schedule to the Tribunal, Appellate Tribunal and Other Authorities (Qualification, experience and other conditions of service of members) Rules, 2017 both in respect of Chairman/Judicial Members and Administrative Members. A further direction to constitute an interim Search-cum Selection Committee during the pendency of this WP in respect of both Judicial/Administrative members as Chief Justice of India or his nominee - Chairman b. Chairman of the Central Administrative Tribunal – Member, c. Two Secretaries nominated by the Government of India - Members
- Appointment to the post of Chairman shall be made by nomination by the Chief Justice of India.
- Stay the terms of office of 3 years as prescribed in Column 5 of the Schedule to the Tribunal, Appellate Tribunal and other Authorities (Qualification, experience and other conditions of service of members) Rules, 2017. A further direction fixing the term of office of all selectees by the aforementioned interim Search-cum Selection Committee and consequent appointees as 5 years.
- All appointments to be made in pursuance to the selection made by the interim Search-cum-Selection Committee shall be with conditions of service as applicable to the Judges of High Court.
- A further direction to the effect that all the selections made by the aforementioned interim selection committee and the consequential appointment of all the selectees as Chairman/Judicial/Administrative members for a term of 5 years with conditions of service as applicable to Judges of High Court shall not be affected by the final outcome of the Writ Petition.
Attorney General KK Venugopal submitted before the bench that he has no objection if the suggestions, barring suggestion nos.4 and 5, are presently followed as an interim measure.
The bench then modified suggestions 4 and 5 as follows:
- All appointments to be made in pursuance to the selection made by the interim Search-cum-Selection Committee shall abide by the conditions of service as per the old Acts and the Rules.
- A further direction to the effect that all the selections made by the aforementioned interim selection committee and the consequential appointment of all the selectees as Chairman/Judicial/Administrative members shall be for a period as has been provided in the old Acts and the Rules.
The bench observed that these suggestions (as modified) are to be made applicable for selection of the chairpersons and the judicial/administrative/technical/expert members for all tribunals. The matter is posted after 12 weeks.Read the Order Here