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Tribunal Reforms Act: Supreme Court reprimands Centre for cherry-picking members, ignoring its recommendations

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The Supreme Court on Wednesday expressed strong displeasure over the Central government’s act of “cherry picking” names for appointment to Tribunals from the waiting list and not appointing the members, whose names were recommended by the Search-cum-selection committees headed by Supreme Court Judges.

The bench, led by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana and also comprising Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and L. Nageshwara Rao, directed the Central Government that it should make the appointment to all Tribunals across the country within two weeks and file a status report.

The Court passed the order on a batch of pleas challenging the constitutional validity of various provisions of the Tribunal Reforms Act, 2021, including Sections 3(1), 3(7), 5 and 7(1).

Attorney General of India K.K. Venugopal maintained his stance, “No names will be recommended who are charged with corruption.”

The bench further observed that in Jabalpur, there are no members in NCLT, DRT and TDSAT. “The litigants are in distress! If a bank issues notice under Section 13(2) of SARFARESI, seizure is under 13(4), then there is no recourse to debtor! No remedy,” it noted.

Also Read: Supreme Court says Nagaraj judgment already decided policy for determining backwardness, no need to revisit it again

It expressed its anguish on the Centre and said, “In both states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, there is no bench for DRT. So, litigants went to West Bengal. Now, litigants have to go to Lucknow since members are not there in West Bengal too.”

The Court further asked the Centre about the status of National Tribunal Commission and said,

“You had agreed that National Tribunal Commission will be constituted and till then a separate wing will be constituted in the Finance ministry. This was recorded in the judgment Mr Attorney General. What happened to the Commission??”

Thereafter, the bench issued notice in Madras Bar Association’s plea and tagged it along with Jairam Ramesh’s plea.

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