New Delhi, Feb 9 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Friday said that search and selection of the judicial and non-judicial members of all the tribunals, for now, would be made by an interim committee till it decides challenges to new regime vesting powers in the government.
A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud said that the interim ‘Search-cum-Selection Committee’ would work till it decided the plea challenging the provision of the Finance Act 2017-2018, that vested the power of the search and selection of tribunal members and their tenure in the government.
The interim panel would have Chief Justice of India or his nominee as its Chairman, and Chairman, Central Administrative Tribunal and two Secretaries nominated by the government as its members.
The appointment to the post of Chairman shall be made by the Chief Justice of India.
The court order came after Attorney General K.K.Venugopal told the court that he had no objection to the interim arrangement.
Under the earlier regime, the members of the tribunal were appointed by the committee comprising the nominee of the Chief Justice of India, two Secretaries to the government and the Chairman of the tribunal concerned to which appointments were sought to be made.
The petitioners have questioned whether such a provision vesting in the government the powers to merge the tribunals and appoint their members thereby taking away the say of the Chief Justice of India could be brought by way of Finance Bill. They also contended that the provision the government has brought through the 2017 Finance Act were violative of the doctrine of the separation of powers and the principles of independence of judiciary.
After the government got the power to appoint members of the tribunals and merge them, it merged eight tribunals, reducing their strength from 26 to 19.