What steps did you take to fill the seats? Supreme Court asks Center to clear stand on tribunal

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New Delhi
has expressed strong displeasure over the non-filling of vacancies in different tribunals and said that it is a very regrettable matter. The Supreme Court has asked the central government to apprise in 10 days what steps have been taken to fill the seats and also said that it suspects that some lobby is working in this matter. The Supreme Court has asked the central government to make its stand clear whether it wants to retain or close the tribunal. The Supreme Court said that it appears that the bureaucracy does not want the tribunal. A bench headed by Chief Justice NV Ramana of the Supreme Court said that the posts of judicial and non-judicial members are lying vacant in different tribunals like Armed Forces Tribunal and NGT etc. across the country. The Supreme Court said that it can issue summons to top officials to know the reasons for not appointing them to the quasi-judicial body. We expect you (Centre) to take a decision in this matter in a week and let us know. Supreme Court cautioned otherwise we are very serious and we will summon top officials to know the reason. The court said that please do not force us to that position. Advocate Amit Sahni had filed an application in the Supreme Court requesting to set up a National and Regional GST Tribunal. The Supreme Court said that the Registry has stated that 15 tribunals have been constituted but there is no chairperson. As far as the National Company Law Tribunal is concerned, there are also vacancies for judicial and technical members. The bench said that many posts are vacant in Railway Claims Tribunal, AFT and NGT. No steps have been taken to fill up these posts and it is a regrettable situation. The court said that the position of the tribunal is like this and we do not know what is the stand of the government. We want to know whether he wants to continue with the Tribunal. We suspect that there is some lobby which does not want to allow the posts to be filled. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the central government, said that he needs some time and will apprise the court of the situation. Some of the issue is regarding tenure and the process of appointment.

[Attribution to NBT]

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