Tribunals : Appointment of Experts – UPSC GS2

Context: Centre needs to enact rules for selection of experts in Tribunals with clarity and objectivity.
Why Tribunals are formed?
  • Need for specialisation and expertise to decide complex cases of a technical nature. Experts appointed to these tribunals bring in special knowledge and experience.
  • Tribunalisation’ of justice will be cost-effective, accessible.
What are the criteria for the appointment of Expert members to the tribunal?
Let us take NGT as example. As per the NGT act there are two criteria for the appointment of Expert members to the NGT tribunal. A candidate has to fulfil only one of them.
  • One based on qualifications and practical experience: a masters’ or a doctorate in science, engineering or technology, with 15 years’ experience in the relevant field, including five in environment and forests in a national level institution, is needed. The fields include pollution control, hazardous substance management and forest conservation.
  • Two, administrative experience in the field: This condition is not clearly defined. It merely stipulates 15 years’ experience, of which five should have been in “dealing with environmental matters” in either the Centre or the State or any reputed institution.
What is the way forward?
  • Government should redefine the criteria for appointments through administrative experience with clarity and objectivity.
  • Need to implement Supreme Court directions to constitute a National Tribunals Commission to supervise the appointment and functioning of tribunals.

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