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Centre issues new Rules for appointment of Members to Tribunals - (12 Feb 2020)


The Union Ministry of Finance has framed fresh rules prescribing uniform norms for the appointment and service conditions of members to various tribunals. The Rules are called "Tribunal, Appellate Tribunal and other Authorities (Qualifications, Experience and other Conditions of Service of Members) Rules 2020". The Rules are made in exercise of powers conferred under Section 184 of Finance Act, 2017. As per the new Rules, the appointment to the Tribunals will be made by the Central Government on the recommendations given by "Search cum selection Committee" that is to be constituted by each Tribunal.

The earlier Rules framed by the Centre in the year 2017 had been struck down by the Constitution Bench of Supreme Court in November, 2019 in the case of Rojer Mathew v. South Indian Bank and Ors. for being contrary to the parent enactment and the principles envisaged in the Constitution of India, 1950. Lack of judicial dominance in the Search-cum-Selection Committee is in direct contravention of the doctrine of separation of powers and is an encroachment on the judicial domain. The Court directed the Central Government to re-formulate the Rules ensuring non-discriminatory and uniform conditions of service. Further, the Apex Court recommended the creation of a ‘National Tribunal Commission’ (NTC) to oversee all the Tribunals in the country.

The appointment to the Tribunals will be made by the Central Government on the recommendations given by "Search cum selection Committee". The position of the committee is classified in the schedules of the rules. The Chief Justice of India or a Judge nominated by the CJI will be a member of the committee. The Committee shall determine its procedure for making its recommendation and, after taking into account the suitability, record of past performance, integrity as well as adjudicatory experience keeping in view the requirements of the Tribunal, Appellate Tribunal or, as the case may be, Authority, recommend a panel of two or three persons for appointment to each post.

The Rules are applicable to the following 19 Tribunals :

1. Industrial Tribunal constituted by the Central Government under the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947

2. Income Tax Appellate Tribunal under the Income Tax Act, 1961

3. Customs, Excise, Service Tax Appellate Tribunal under the Customs Act, 1962

4. Appellate Tribunal under the Smugglers and Foreign Exchange Manipulators (Forfeiture of Property) Act, 1976

5. Central Administrative Tribunals under the Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985

6. Railway Claims Tribunal under the Railway Claims Tribunal Act, 1987

7. Securities Appellate Tribunal under the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992

8. Debts Recovery Tribunal under the Recovery of Debts Due to Banks and Financial Institutions Act, 1993

9. Debts Recovery Appellate Tribunal under the Recovery of Debts Due to Banks and Financial Institutions Act, 1993

10. Airport Appellate Tribunal under the Airport Authority of India Act, 1994

11. Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal under the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997

12. Appellate Board under the Trade Marks Act, 1999

13. National Company Law Appellate Tribunal under the Companies Act, 2013

14. Authority for Advance Ruling under the Income Tax Act, 1961

15. Film Certification Appellate Tribunal under the Cinematograph Act, 1956

16. National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986

17. Appellate Tribunal for Electricity under the Electricity Act, 2003

18. Armed Forces Tribunal under the Armed Forces Act, 2007

19. National Green Tribunal under the National Green Tribunal Act, 2000.


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