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Function of appellate bodies transferred to existing Judicial Bod

During the 2021 Budget session a bill was introduced which aimed at dissolving certain existing Appellate bodies and transferring its functions to existing judicial bodies, however it was not passed. Owing to this the centre took immediate actions and exercised its powers under section 123 of the Indian constitution thereby passing an ordinance, Tribunals Reforms (Rationalisation and Conditions of Service) Ordinance, 2021.

Through this ordinance Various Changes were made in different acts.

A. Amendments in the Finance Act,2017• Section 184 of the above act has been amended. The amendment empowered the central government by giving it the power to make rules regarding qualifications, appointment, term of office, salaries and allowances, resignation, removal and other terms and conditions of service of Members of Tribunals.• It states that the central government will appoint the chairperson and the members of the tribunals on the recommendation of the selection committee which will be headed by the Chief justice of India or a judge of Supreme Court appointed by him.• Based on the Madras Bar association case the ordinance amended the term for holding the office of the chairperson of a tribunal. It has been changed toa  term of 4 years or till he attains the age of 70 years, whichever is earlier for the chairperson and 4years or till he attains the age of 67 years whichever is earlier for other members of the tribunal.• It also adds that a person who is not 50years old is not eligible to be appointed as a chairperson or a member of the tribunal.

B. Tribunals removed from the purview of the finance act are:• Airport Appellate Tribunal established under the Airport Authority of India Act, 1994 • Appellate Board established under the Trade Marks Act, 1999 • Authority for Advance Ruling established under the Income Tax Act, 1961 • Film Certification Appellate Tribunal established under the Cinematograph Act, C. The ordinance transfers functions of these appellate to the following courts• To the concerned High Court from Appellate Tribunal under Cinematograph Act, 1952 • To the concerned High Court from Appellate Board under Trade Marks Act, 1999 • Appellate Board under Copyright Act, 1957 to the concerned Commercial Court or the Commercial Division of the concerned High Court; • To the concerned High Court from Authority for Advance Rulings under the Customs Act, 1962 • To the concerned High Court from Appellate Board under Patents Act, 1970 • Airport Appellate Tribunal under Airports Authority of India Act, 1994 to:

(i) Central government,

(ii) High Court, as specified;

• To the concerned Civil Court from Airport Appellate Tribunal under Control of National Highways (Land and Traffic) Act, 2002;• To the Concerned High Court from the Appellate Board under Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection)Act, 1999

The Film Certification Appellate Tribunal was constituted in the year 1983 under the Cinematograph Act, 1952. This statutory board was established to hear appeals from the film makers who were aggrieved by the orders of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). After the ordinance has been passed various film personalities have displayed their disappointment.

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