Now Lawyers Can Become Member of Tribunals Across the Country; Finance Ministry Notifies Rules

With the promulgation of the Tribunal, Appellate Tribunal, and other Authorities (Qualifications, Experience, and Other Conditions of Service of Members) Rules, 2021, lawyers with required experience can now serve as judicial members of various tribunals throughout the country.

The Union Finance Ministry notified the modified Rules on June 30.

The Schedule to the Rules governing the qualifications of Chairpersons, Presidents, and members of tribunals has also been revised to state that only members of the Indian Legal Service with ten years of litigation experience will be eligible for appointment as judicial members.

The following are the qualifications required for advocates to serve in tribunals:

Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) – (v) has ten years of experience as an advocate in service-related litigation before the Central Administrative Tribunal, Armed Forces Tribunal, High Court, or Supreme Court.
Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) – 

(b) member of the Indian Legal Service with ten years of litigation experience and has held the post of Additional Secretary or any equivalent or higher post for two years; or (c) advocate for ten years with substantial experience in income tax law litigation in ITAT, High Court, or Supreme Court.
National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) (c) has been an advocate for ten years with substantial litigation experience in matters relating to company affairs before NCLT, NCLAT, High Court or Supreme Court;
CESTAT
 
(b) member of the Indian Legal Service with ten years of litigation experience and has held a post of Additional Secretary or any equivalent or higher post for two years; or (c) advocate for ten years with substantial experience in litigation under indirect tax laws in Customs, Excise, and Services.
Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) (b) has served for at least ten years as an advocate with substantial experience in service-related litigation in the Central Administrative Tribunal, Armed Forces Tribunal, High Court, or Supreme Court, or has served for at least one year as Judge Advocate General in the Army, Navy, or Air Force, and is not below the rank of Major General, Commodore, or Air Commodore.
Railway Claims Tribunal – (c) has been an advocate for ten years, with significant expertise in litigation in claim settlements involving damage to life and property in the Railway Claims Tribunal, High Court, or Supreme Court.
Appellate Tribunal for Electricity – 
(c) possesses ten years of experience as an advocate in power sector litigation before the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission, State Electricity Regulatory Commission, Appellate Tribunal for Electricity, High Court, or Supreme Court.
Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) – 
(ii) has been an advocate for ten years with significant expertise in financial sector litigation before the Securities Exchange Board of India, Securities Appellate Tribunal, High Court, or Supreme Court.
Debts Recovery Appellate Tribunal (DRAT) – 
(b) member of the Indian Legal Service with ten years of litigation experience and has held a post of Additional Secretary or any equivalent or higher post for two years; 

The Rules governing the Method of Recruitment (Rule 4), Removal of Members from Office (Rule 7), and Term of Office of Members (Rule 9) have been deleted from the main Rules.

According to an explanation appended to the modified Rules, the alteration in Rule 15 is retroactive and will take effect on January 1, 2021, in accordance with the Supreme Court’s decision in Madras Bar Association v. Union Of India.

Download Rules

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