New Delhi [India], September 6 (ANI): Expressing its strongest displeasure over the way the Centre had enacted the Tribunal Reforms Act by reducing the terms of members and Chairmen of Tribunals, the Supreme Court on Monday pulled up the Centre and said that the Central government has no respect for Supreme Court judgments and that it will initiate contempt of court proceedings against it if the appointments were not made within a week.
The apex court issued a notice to the Centre over a plea filed by Congress leader and MP Jairam Ramesh and others challenging the constitutional validity of various provisions of the Tribunal Reforms Act, 2021.
The Supreme Court said that the "Centre has no respect for judgments of the highest court."
It warned of the contempt action if the Central government continues dilly-dallying on the appointment of tribunals' chairpersons and members.
"There is no respect for the judgments of this Court. It is unfortunate. Last time you (the Solicitor General) have said that you have appointed some members in the tribunals. How many you have appointed?" the Chief Justice of India Nuthalapati Venkata Ramana of India asked the Solicitor General Tushar Mehta.
"You (the Central government) are testing the patience of Court; no respect for our judgments," said a three-judge bench headed by the Chief Justice of India (CJI) Nuthalapati Venkata Ramana, and also comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao and Dr Dhananjaya Yashwant Chandrachud, today pulled up the Centre over Tribunals Reforms Act and not appointing members and Chairmen in tribunals.
The CJI said, we were not interested in or inviting any confrontation (with the govt) on the issue, and we are listing the matter for further hearing till next Monday.
The Supreme Court said that all the recommendations were made keeping all parameters in mind, why was the appointment not made? What was the reason? The recommendations were strictly in accordance with the law.
The CJI said that we are happy with the way the SC judges are appointed. These tribunals are collapsing with no members or Chairperson. "Tell us your alternate plans What is you want? Do you want to close down tribunals?" the CJI asked SG Mehta.
To this, the SG replied, this is not our intention.
"Taking into consideration of submissions we are not passing any orders, Mr Mehta shall take instructions on the next date of hearing. The matter related to Constitution of GST Appellate Tribunal, the notice is issued," the CJI said
The Supreme Court sought counter affidavits to be filed, as it said, right now, we are not passing any order at present.
The Supreme Court granted one last opportunity to the Centre and asked the government to mend its ways and fixed the matter for further hearing on next Monday. (ANI)