A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice DY Chandrachud said that the interim arrangement would remain in force till it decided the plea challenging the provision of the Finance Act, 2017-2018, that vested the power of the appointment of tribunal members and their tenure in the government.
Under the earlier regime, the members of the tribunal were appointed by the committee comprising the nominee of the Chief Justice of India, two secretaries of the government and the Chairman of the concerned tribunal to which appointments were sought to be made.
The petitioners have questioned whether such a provision vesting in the government the powers to merge the tribunals and appoint their members thereby taking away the say of the Chief Justice of India could be brought by way of Finance Bill.
The petitioners have also contended that the provision the government has brought through the 2017 Finance Act were violative of the doctrine of the separation of powers and the principles of independence of judiciary.
After the government got power to appoint members of the tribunals and their mergers, it merged eight tribunals which now stand at 19. Earlier the number of tribunals were 26.