The government was ordered by the Supreme Court to present documents demonstrating its rationale for introducing the Tribunal Reforms Bill, 2021. The SC also took issue with the lack of sufficient debate in Parliament before the bill was passed. The Tribunals Reforms Bill, 2021, replaces an Ordinance passed in April 2021 that intended to dismantle eight tribunals that served as appellate bodies for hearing disputes arising under various statutes. Their powers were transferred to existing judicial forums, such as a civil court or a High Court, under the bill. The Supreme Court overturned the ordinance’s provisions concerning the conditions of employment and term of Tribunal Members and Chairpersons. The provisions, however, reappeared in the Tribunal Reforms Bill submitted by the Finance Minister in the Parliament’s Monsoon session of 2021. It also suggests modifications to the way certain other tribunals are appointed. It states that any Chairperson or Member who has been adjudged insolvent; or has been convicted of an offence involving moral turpitude, or has become physically or mentally incapable of acting as such Chairperson or Member; or has acquired such financial or other interests shall be removed from office on the recommendation of the Search-cum-Selection Committee. The Chairpersons and Members of the tribunal that is being dissolved would cease to hold office, and they will be entitled to compensation equal to three months’ pay and allowances for their premature termination, according to the Bill. According to the government, a study of data from the previous three years has revealed that tribunals in a variety of industries have not necessarily resulted in faster justice delivery, and they also come at a significant cost to the government. During his tenure in government, he has acted in a manner that has been detrimental to the public interest.
Source: The Hindu