Why in News?
The Supreme Court recently stayed the applicability of provisions of the Central Tribunal, Appellate Tribunal and other Authorities (Qualification, experience and other conditions of service of members) Rules, 2017 which gave the government primacy in making key appointments to tribunals, including the National Green Tribunal.
FACTS FOR PRELIMS
Article 323A empowers the Parliament to provide for the establishment of administrative tribunals for the adjudication of disputes relating to recruitment and conditions of service of persons appointed to public services of the centre, the state, local bodies, public corporations and other public authorities.
Article 323B empowers the Parliament and the state legislatures to provide for the establishment of tribunals for the adjudication of disputes relating to other matters.
In pursuance of Article 323A, the Parliament has enacted the Administrative Tribunals Act in 1985. The Act authorises the Central government to establish one Central administrative tribunals and the state administrative tribunals.
Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT)
The CAT was set up in 1985 with the principal bench in Delhi and has additional benches in different states. It is a multi member body that exercises original Jurisdiction in relation to recruitment and all service matters of public servants covered by it. However, the members of the defence forces, officers and servants of the Supreme Court and the secretarial staff the Supreme Court are not covered by it.
The new Tribunal rules notified under the Finance Act 2017-18 gave the Central government the power to “make rules to provide for qualifications, appointment, term of office, salaries and allowances, resignation, removal and the other terms and conditions of service “for judges appointed to 19 tribunals.
However, the validity of these rules was questioned on the grounds that they were violative of the doctrine of the separation of powers and the principles of independence of the judiciary.
Highlights of the Judgement
i)The bench directed that the terms and conditions of service of members of the National Green Tribunal shall be governed by the provisions of the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010.
ii)The Bench also accepted the suggestions made by the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) Bar Association, which froze the implementation of the new Rules framed under the Finance Act of 2017.
iii)Primarily, the court accepted the formation of an interim search-cum-selection committee in respect for the appointment of both judicial and administrative members to CAT.
iv)The panel includes the Chief Justice of India or his nominee, Chairman of the Central Administrative Tribunal, and two secretaries nominated by the Government of India.