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SC issues notice to Centre on CAT's plea challenging Finance Act

The panel also sought an interim stay on the provisions of the new Act and the Rules

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Tripods of television crew stand in front of the Indian Supreme Court building in New Delhi
Tripods of television crew stand in front of the Indian Supreme Court building in New Delhi. Photo: Reuters

The on Friday issued a notice to the on a plea of the (CAT) challenging the constitutional validity of certain provisions of the newly-amended Finance Act.

The said the 'Tribunals, Appellate Tribunals and Other Authorities (qualifications, experience and other conditions of service of members) Rules, 2017', framed under the Act, provides that the search-cum-selection committee to select its administrative members will be headed by a nominee of the central


Earlier, the Chief Justice of India (CJI) or his nominee had a role in the selection of administrative members of CAT, the tribunal told a bench comprising Chief Justice and Justice D Y Chandrachud.

The bench found prima facie merit in the submission of senior advocate C A Sundaram, representing the CAT, and sought the response of the in two weeks.

The panel also sought an interim stay on the provisions of the new Act and the Rules, under which new Search-cum- Selection Committee for the post of Administrative Member would be set up.

The senior advocate told the court that the new Act will take away the powers of the

"Because of the provisions of the new Act, the power of your Lordships have been taken away as the final authority in deciding the administrative members of the tribunals which used to rest with the CJI," he said.

However, on the issue of selection of CAT's chairperson and judicial members, the 2017 Rules provide that the search- cum-selection committee would be headed by the or his nominee.

The Finance Act, which came into effect on April 1, led to the framing of the 2017 Rules, which allegedly gave "unbridled" powers to the Executive to decide on the qualification of the members, their appointment and removal among other issues, one of the petitions filed by leader Jairam Ramesh, said.

The apex court had earlier issued a notice to the on two other similar pleas filed by Ramesh and an Social Action for Forest and Environment (SAFE).

The NGO, in its plea filed through lawyers Vivek Chib and Ruchira Goel, had sought the quashing of Part 14 of the Finance Act and Rules framed under it.

It alleged that the alterations brought about by the Finance Act would weaken the functioning of tribunals including the Green Tribunal (NGT) and curtail their powers.

Senior advocate Mohan Parasaran, who had appeared for Ramesh, had submitted that the power of has been compromised by the provisions of the new law.

The has said the changes brought about by the Act would weaken functioning of tribunals including the and curtail their powers.

First Published: Fri, August 18 2017. 21:11 IST
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