Recently President, Ram Nath Kovind promulgated “The Tribunals Reforms (Rationalisation and conditions of Service)” Ordinance of 2021. It dissolved appellate authorities under 9 acts and transferred their functions to high courts.

The Amendments

The ordinance dissolved appellate tribunals under 9 acts as follows:

  1. Cinematograph Act of 1952
  2. Copyrights Act of 1957
  3. Trade Marks Act of 1999
  4. Customs Act of 1962
  5. Patents Act of 1970
  6. Airports Authority of India Act of 1994
  7. Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act of 1999
  8. Control of National Highways (Land and Traffic) Act of 2002
  9. Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights Act of 2001

Also, the ordinance said that the chairperson and members of tribunals will be appointed by the Union Government based on the recommendations made by a Search-cum Select Committee. The committee will consist of Chief Justice of India, secretaries nominated by the Union governments, secretary of the ministry under which the tribunal is constituted and the outgoing chairperson or a retired Chief Justice of India or a retired supreme court judge.

Section 184 of Finance Act of 2017

Apart from these nine acts, the Tribunal Reforms Ordinance of 2021 also amended Section 184 of the Finance Act of 2017. It has added the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission within the purview of Finance Act of 2017. It has removed the following bodies from the purview of Finance Act of 2017:

  • Airport Appellate Tribunal established under the Airports Authority of India act of 1994
  • Film Certification Appellate Authority established under the Cinematograph Act of 1952
  • Authority of Advanced Ruling established under the Income Tax Act of 1961
  • Appellate Board established under the Trade Marks Act of 1999,

Article 123 of the Constitution

The Article 123 provides powers to president to promulgate an ordinance. An ordinance laid under the act has the same effect as that of an act.

President promulgated Tribunal Reforms Ordinance 2021 President promulgated Tribunal Reforms Ordinance 2021