Tribunals : Delays in appointment – UPSC GS2

  • Supreme Court has shown disappointment to the Central government for the long delays in making appointments for the various tribunals in India and warned it of initiating contempt proceedings against it. In Sep 2021, SC has given 2 weeks’ time fill posts in tribunals.
Vacancies in Tribunals:
  • Various tribunals in India are suffering from a huge backlog of cases being mainly attributable to the long-pending vacancies in them.
  • Over 240 vacancies remain in key tribunals like the National Green Tribunal, Income Tax Appellate Tribunal and Central Administrative Tribunal among others with some tribunals even lacking presiding officers.
Undemocratic appointments:
  • Recommendations to the tribunals by the selection committees have been largely ignored by the government.
  • Government has been “cherry-picking” names for appointments to tribunals even from the waitlist overlooking the names from the final ‘select’ list.
  • SC noted that this practice goes against the democratic principles of working under a rule of law.
State of Tribunals:
  • SC had termed the state of tribunals and the thousands of litigants waiting for justice “pitiable”.
  • Cases are adjourned for months as there is no manpower to form Benches.
  • Litigants are made to travel to other states where there are at least some tribunal members available to hear their cases.