The Supreme Court today said it would be open to appoint any suitable former judge of a high court in a tribunal or commission till any legislative amendment in this regard was brought, so that such bodies "may not remain headless".
The apex court also said that a committee could be set up in two months by the Centre to consider issues, including creation of a regular cadre and laying down eligibility for recruitment for tribunals.
"We further direct that wherever qualification required for appointment to a tribunal/commission is of a former Chief Justice or a former Supreme Court judge, and no suitable person of that category is available, it will be open to make appointment of any suitable former judge of a high court till any legislative amendment in that regard is brought out so that a tribunal/commission may not remain headless," a bench comprising Justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and Indu Malhotra said.
"Subject to above, the constitution of the committee is left to the Government. The committee may be constituted within two months and may give its report within three months thereafter," the bench said.
It said that the Centre might take a call after the panel gives its report and take further appropriate action.
The bench said an affidavit of further developments be filed in the court by October 31 and posted the matter for hearing on November 13.
The apex court had on May 7 said that a committee might be set up to consider aspects like setting up of an autonomous oversight body for recruitment and overseeing the performance and discipline of the members so recruited and other related issues.
It had said that the committee might also consider amending the scheme of direct appeals to the apex court so that orders of tribunals were subject to jurisdiction of the high courts and on making benches of tribunals accessible to common man at convenient locations instead of having only one location at Delhi or elsewhere.
The court had said that in the alternative, the committee might consider conferring jurisdiction on existing courts as special courts or tribunals.
It had said that consideration on these issues requires urgent setting up of a committee, preferably of three members.
The issue had cropped up before the court which was hearing a matter in which it was pointed out that appointment, norms and functioning of Debt Recovery Tribunals was not consistent with the apex court's observations passed in various judgments.
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