Why in News?
The Supreme Court has directed the Centre to place on record the amended draft of the Central Tribunal, Appellate and other Authorities (Qualifications, Experience and other conditions of Service of Members) Rules, 2017.
FACTS FOR PRELIMS
The draft Central Tribunal and other authorities Rules 2017 have been challenged for modifying the terms of appointment and functioning in various statutory tribunals, including the National Green Tribunal, and causing dilution of judicial independence and posing a threat to the Constitution.
What are Tribunals?
Tribunal is a special court, convened by the government to inquire into a specific matter. They do not follow Law of Evidence but follow Principles of Natural Justice instead.Tribunals cannot determine legal questions unless empowered by an Act of the Parliament.
The 42nd amendment act of 1976 added a new part to the XIV-A to the constitution. This part is entitled as ‘Tribunals’ and consists of only two articles -Article 323A dealing with Administrative tribunals and Article 323-B dealing with Tribunals for other matters.
|Article 323-A||Article 323-B|
|i) It provides for the adjudication of disputes relating to recruitment and conditions of service of persons appointed to public service of the centre, the state, local bodies, public corporations, civilian employees of defence services and other public authorities.
**Members of the defence forces, officers and servants of the Supreme Court and the Secretarial staff of the Parliament are not covered by it.
ii)Under this article tribunals can be established only by parliament
iii) Under article 323-A only one tribunal for the centre and one tribunal for each state may be established. There is no question of hierarchy of tribunals .
|i)Under this article the Parliament and other state legislatures are authorized to provide for the establishment of tribunals for the adjudication of disputes relating to-
-Foreign Exchange ,import , Export
-Industrial and Labour
-Ceiling and Urban Property
-Election to parliament and state Legislature
-Rent and Tenancy rights
ii) Tribunals can be established both by Parliament and state legislature with respect to matters falling within there legislative competence.
iii) Under Article 323-B hierarchy of tribunals may be created.
Over time, regardless of the areas spelt out in Article 323-B, setting up of tribunals has become par for the course in reliance on the general law-making power – for example, Article 323-B does not have specific reference to company law or securities law, but the power to make law on these subjects have been used to create tribunals.
i)Despite playing the justice delivery role, administrative responsibility for tribunals is typical with the ministries of the government that administer the statutes under which the tribunals are created.
ii)As per the new rules Supreme Court will no longer play a leading role in selecting members and chairpersons on various tribunals that are largely made up of retired judges from the higher judiciary.