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Tribunals And Commissions May Not Remain Headless, SC Allows Appointment Of Former HC Judges In Tribunals If No Suitable Former HC CJ/SC Judge Is Available [Read Order]

The Supreme Court has issued an important directive that wherever qualification required for appointment to a tribunal/commission is of a former Chief Justice or a former Supreme Court judge and no suitable person of that category is available, it will be open to make appointment of any suitable former judge of a high court till any legislative amendment in that regard is brought out.

‘Tribunal/Commission may not remain headless,” observed the bench of Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and Justice Indu Malhotra.

The bench, in its earlier order had directed setting up of a three-member committee, comprising of a retired judge of Supreme Court who may have served in a tribunal.

Today, the bench clarified that a former judge of Supreme Court need not have worked in a tribunal. The court also directed that the three-member committee may be constituted within two months and may give its report within three months thereafter.

“Union of India may take a call thereon and take such further action as found appropriate. An affidavit of 2 further developments be filed in this Court by 31st October, 2018. Learned amicus will be at liberty to put forward his view-point before the said Committee,” the bench added.

As far as the original petition is concerned, the bench disposed the Special Leave Petition giving him liberty to move the high court again.


In an earlier order, a three-member committee was directed to be formed to consider following issues:

  • Creation of a regular cadres laying down eligibility for recruitment for tribunals;
  • Setting up of an autonomous oversight body for recruitment and overseeing the performance and discipline of the members so recruited and other issues relating thereto;
  • Amending the scheme of direct appeals to this court so that the orders of tribunals are subject to the jurisdiction of the high courts; and
  • Making benches of tribunals accessible to the common man at convenient locations instead of having only one location in Delhi or elsewhere. In the alternative, conferring jurisdiction on existing courts as special courts or tribunals.

Read the Order Here

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  • Tanttu gaya says:

    What about many central administrative tribunals which 8s either headless or member is on extension looking after chairman charge.members position laying vacant for many months and justice delivery system has either crippled or poor judgements are being delivered.