The Supreme Court in the case I.S. Inbadurai vs Appavum, wherein the Supreme Court judge Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul observed and stated that the Tribunals in the country should have experts in the respective fields as members. The bench headed by Justice Kaul stated that I have no hesitation in saying, there’s a saying that it’s become a haven for retired bureaucrats and judges. Thus, the Tribunals must be specialists.

For eg. in Tax tribunals, you pick up specialists and the armed forces tribunals. There being a balance between judges and armed forces tribunals. It, by and large, has worked. But today we have so many tribunals. It has been stated by Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi that the Income tax Tribunals and CESTAT work the best.

It has also been expressed by Justice Kaul the concerns at statutory provisions providing first appeals from Tribunals to the Supreme Court and the lawyers too sharing the said concerns. Adding to which, Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi stated that a statutory appeal has been filed against every tribunal comes to the Supreme Court.

Thus, it will clog of the Supreme Court and an electricity appeal comes to the Supreme Court. It has also been agreed by another senior advocate that it should not be that way at all. Therefore, the Tribunal should not have first appeal to the Supreme Court. The bench of Justice Kaul stated that some matters from the specialised tribunals, when they reach the Supreme Court and a lot time goes into it. Before the court, an interesting discussion came alive while the bench comprising Justice Kaul and Justice AS Oka was hearing the election plea on the recounting of votes in a 2016 election to the Radhapuram Assembly Constituency. The present plea was moved by an ex-MLA Inbadurai. The said matter was adjourned for detailed hearing on a later date.

Therefore, Rohatgi then spoke of a rather interesting topic – “Retired Judge Syndrome” -and how it must come to end. The bench also discussed the same along with the senior advocates on the issue of the limitation period. It has been stated by Senior Advocate P Wilson that the limitation of 6 months must be taken seriously. The bench of Justice Kal in its reply stated that If I may say so, limitation within however time has to be taken seriously. So many statutes provide for limitation. When these being the volumes, either you a have specialised forums or tribunals. When the said forums are being made, they are not manned.

The people are not appointed to those forums….. May be there are can be specialised election tribunals manned by retired judges who will take them up and do so. But if it is being said so, by the time tribunals are appointed, members will not be appointed… Some out-ofthe-box thinking is necessary, wherein stating that so many cases can’t be decided even if you double or triple the strength.

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