The Supreme Court has struck down the rules pertaining to tribunal postings passed in the Finance Act, 2017.
- The Finance Act, 2017 had provisions relating to the terms and conditions of appointments and services of members of judicial tribunals.
- In a case that is questioning the constitutionality of terming the Finance Act, 2017 as Money Bill by the Lok Sabha Speaker, the supreme court bench of justices has struck down the provisions related to tribunals as unconstitutional.
- The apex court argued that the provisions in the Act suffered from various infirmities.
- It further noted that the control of various facets of judicial tribunals by the Central government would affect judicial independence.
On the Case
- The Supreme Court, in a majority judgment, has sent the case itself to a larger bench.
- The case questions the act of the Lok Sabha speaker in allowing the Finance Act, 2017 as a Money Bill.
- But, Justice Chandrachud of the bench dissented to send the case to a larger bench.
- He noted that there is no bar on the SC to judicially review the discretion power of the Speaker in certifying a bill as a money bill.
- He also noted that certifying a bill as a money bill to circumvent Rajya Sabha is unwanted as Rajya Sabha presents the pluralism of the Indian Constitution.
Directing Law Ministry
- The Judgment direct the Law Ministry to re-formulate rules on the services and conditions of the members in six months.
- There will not be any discrimination among the members of the tribunals and the Court wanted All the members of the tribunals to be treated as a homogenous class.
- The Court also directed the government to conduct a judicial impact assessment of the workings of the tribunals.
- It wanted to limit direct appeals to the Supreme Court from the tribunals.
The assessment will also help the government see whether there are adequate benches for the tribunals