The Centre has replaced Appellate authorities under as many as nine laws with High Courts. This has been done through the Tribunal Reforms (Rationalisation and Conditions of Service) Ordinance 2021, which was promulgated on Sunday.

Through this Ordinance, appellate authorities under nine Acts have been done away with and the right to hear appeals under the statue has been conferred on High Courts.

Also, certain amendments have been introduced to the Finance Act 2017 involving the qualifications and tenure of the Chairperson and members of Tribunals. Amendment has also been made to restrict the tenure of Chairperson of a Tribunal to a term of four years or till the age of 70, whichever is earlier. For members of a Tribunal, the term of office will be four years or till they attain the age of 67 , whichever is earlier.

Nine Acts

The nine laws where the Appellate Authorities are being done away with are: Cinematograph Act; Copyright Act; Customs Act; Patents Act; Airports Authority of India Act; Trade Marks Act ; Geographical Indications of Goods (registration and protection) Act ; Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights Act and Control of National Highways (land and traffic) Act .

The Ordinance also seeks to create a search-cum-selection committee for appointing the Chairperson and the members of tribunals.

It may be recalled that the Tribunal Reforms (Rationalisation and Conditions of Service ) Bill 2021 was introduced in the Lok Sabha on February 13. This Bill was, however, not taken up for passage in the recently concluded Budget session.