Why the government wants to amend the Tribunal Reforms Bill 2021?
New Delhi, Aug 02: Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman is expected to move the Tribunals Reforms Bill, 2021 in the Lok Sabha on Monday.
The Tribunals Reforms (Rationalisation and Conditions of Service) Bill, 2021, seeks to abolish tribunals or authorities under various laws by amending various statutes.
Amendments in the Act
The proposed Bill seeks to amend the Cinematograph Act, 1952, the Customs Act, 1962, the Airports Authority of India Act, 1994, the Trade Marks Act, 1999 and the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers' Rights Act, 2001 and certain other Acts.
The Bill proposes the transfer of all cases pending before such tribunals or authorities to the Commercial Court or the High Court on the appointed date.
The bill also has laid down severance terms for the Chairman and Members of such tribunals and they will be entitled to claim compensation not exceeding three months' pay and allowances for the premature termination of term of their office or of any contract of service.
Need for the amendment
With the passage of the Bill, the government expects to save considerable expense to the exchequer while leading to speedy delivery of justice.
The government believes the tribunals have not necessarily led to faster justice delivery in the last three years. In fact, many tribunals only add to another additional layer of litigation. In 2017, seven tribunals were abolished or merged based on functional similarity.
Timeline of the process of rationalisation of tribunals
The Government of India began the process of rationalisation of tribunals in 2015. By the Finance Act, 2017, seven tribunals were abolished or merged based on functional similarity and their total number was reduced to 19 from 26.
In February, The Bill was introduced in the Budget Session by minister of state for finance Anurag Thakur. However, since the Bill was not passed in the House, an ordinance was issued.