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Thursday, September 25, 2014

In a landmark decision on Tribunalisation, the Supreme Court has struck down the formation of the National Tax Tribunal

In a landmark decision on Tribunalisation comprising 270 pages, stressing upon independence of judicial functioning in a democracy, a 5 Member Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court has struck down the National Tax Tribunal Act, 2005, and hence struck down the inception of the National Tax Tribunal which was to be constituted by the Central Government.

On this blog, I have, in the past, authored opeds and opinions on the pitfalls of Tribunalisation and the same can be accessed here and here. The decision on a Public Interest Litigation filed by me regarding lack of independence of Tribunals has been challenged by the Central Government and is pending before the Apex Court.

Though the existence, continuance, nature and constitution of the existing Tribunals would have to be tested on the touchstone of today’s decision, following are the star points expressed by the Bench in the decision:

That Tribunals would only perform a supplemental role and not a substitutional role. The power of judicial review of the High Court under Articles 226 and 227 can never be ousted.

That Members of Tribunals should have no administrative dealings with the Govt.

That only a person possessing professional qualification in law, with substantial experience in the practice of law, will be in a position to handle the onerous responsibilities which a Chairperson and Members have to shoulder.

That it is not possible for the Court to accept that Technical Members have the stature and qualification possessed by Judges of High Courts.

That it is not possible to accept that a party to a litigation (the Central Government in the case of Tribunals) can participate in the selection process, whereby the Chairperson and Members of such adjudicatory body are selected.

That re-appointment provisions undermine the fairness and independence of Members.

The gratitude of the public in this aspect must go to the Madras Bar Association and their counsel, Mr Arvind Datar, for continually taking up threats to our judicial independence head on and to a logical conclusion.

Law marches on. 

Post Note: And while we are at it, I would recommend readers interested in the subject to peruse this detailed oped rendered by Justice JS Narang of the Punjab & Haryana High Court on the subject of Tribunalisation published in 'The Law' magazine earlier this year. 


Anonymous said...

Excellent Judgement. Perfectly and most appropriately worded,

Navinder Narang said...

Awesome, Navdeep. keep it up, proud of you!

Pokar Ram said...

Dear Major Navdeep,

Your parents, on your birth were very sure that you would prove to be a Nav Deep for lighting the lives of the unheard.

Your actions have really proved your parents dreams.

Long live Navdeep !!!

Veteran said...

The PCDA(Allhabad) has created a web site spending Public resources including Money. See the site http://pcdapensions.in/main/contact.php
Project Sangam © All rights reserved | Developed by PCDA(PENSION), ALLAHABAD

Firstly ,the site is not user friendly (as usually guided/done by an accountant cadre).
Further to add : If you input your name and original PPO number, the out put given is the Corr.PPO .Number. One wonders what great purpose has been served by getting another XYZ number !!. The out put should have been copy of the Individual Corr PPO which is digitally signed.
Another example of waste of public resources by the PCDA(Pensions).

Similar lethargy goes with the PCDA(O) Pune. In the rank pay cases , they are reluctant to part the information of revised working of entitlements as well as the LPC/data sheet. With repeated reminders ,they have not despatched the LPC/Data sheet to many of the effected case.
ARE THEY NON-PROFESSIONALS or still in the colonial mind set in a democratic country where the Right to information is a right of the citizen.

chauhan said...

maj navdeep u r doing a great jab for indian army. may god progress u in life.