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Finally, the Centre has passed the bill of replacing Appellate Authorities with High Courts under as many as nine different laws. This has been given effect through “The Tribunal Reforms (Rationalization and Conditions of Service) Ordinance, 2021”. This ordinance was promulgated by our Honorable President, Mr Ram Nath Kovind on this Sunday recently. It is the second ordinance of the year 2021.
Now onwards with the effect of this Ordinance, all the powers and effectiveness of Appellate Authorities which come under nine Acts have been taken away and the right to hear appeals under the statute has been now conferred on the High Courts of competent jurisdiction.
Now let’s have a look at those nine different acts. Basically, the following are the nine different laws where the Appellate Authorities have lost their powers and existence:
- The Cinematograph Act, 1952;
- The Copyright Act, 1957;
- The Customs Act, 1962;
- The Patents Act, 1970;
- The Airports Authority of India Act, 1994;
- The Trade Marks Act, 1999;
- The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999;
- The Protection of Plant Varieties and The Farmers Rights Act, 2001 and
- Control of National Highways (land and traffic) Act, 2002.
The Ordinance further seeks to create a search-cum-selection committee for the purpose of appointing the Chairperson and the members of every tribunal.
It is interesting to recall that “The Tribunal Reforms (Rationalization and Conditions of Service) Bill, 2021” was effectively introduced in the Lok Sabha on February 13, 2021. But this bill was not taken up by Lok Sabha for passage in the recently concluded Budget session. Hence, the Centre decided to introduce this instant Ordinance in the exercise of its powers under Article 123 of the Constitution.