Supreme Court warns Centre over ‘cherry-picking’ for appointments to Tribunals

Taking a tough stance, the Supreme Court on Wednesday criticised the Centre on matters related to filling up vacancies in Tribunals. A special bench comprising Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice L Nageswara Rao expressed unhappiness with the Government on the matter.

The bench showed its clear displeasure on the manner in which the recent appointments were made to the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) and Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) and also warned the Centre of a contempt case over the appointments.

The apex court said it may initiate a case of contempt against central officials if appointments from the recommended list are not done any time soon. The SC bench has asked the government why it ‘cherry-picked’ from the waitlists to make appointments to tribunals instead of appointing recommended persons for the vacancies.

The CJI said that the same problem was there with the names cleared by the Centre for Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT). He further said that the Supreme Court judges undertook an elaborate exercise to shortlist the names during the COVID-19 and the entire efforts are going in vain.

Previously on September 6, the Supreme Court had come down heavily on the Central government over its failure in filling vacancies in tribunals across the country despite multiple orders from the court to that effect. Then Centre was given seven days to either make the appointments or leave the matter in the hands of the Supreme Court to pass orders.

The Centre then filed an affidavit before the Supreme Court saying that it has appointed 84 members to various tribunals since 2020 and no recommendations are pending with it anymore.

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