ANSWER WRITING GROUP (AWG) 2019
ForumIAS AWG 2019 Entrance Exam will be held on 8th June | 9 AM.   CLICK HERE to know more and apply.
Ethics+ Batch 2 for CSE 2019
Starts 12th June, 2019Register Here
COMPREHENSIVE GUIDANCE PROGRAM 2020
ForumIAS CGP 2020 Program commences from May 15th, 2019. CLICK HERE to know more and apply. Or email us on admissions@forumias.academy to know more
We are hiring!

SC judgement on National tax tribunal

If anyone have idea what were the reason behind calling NTT as constitutionally invalid.
Whether it was violation of Article 323B, inserted into the Constitution via the 42nd Amendment, violation of the basic features of the Constitution (such as the rule of law, the separation of powers, and the independence of the judiciary) or
whether Tribunal are inferior to HC coz the former neither have the capacity nor expertise
My understanding is that if NTT was invalid than same principle shud apply on all other tribunals also.
मैं खड़ा हूँ उसी दोराहे पे, आज भी इंतज़ार में तेरे !
या तो ज़िन्दगी आये तेरे लिबास में! या मैं चलूँ फिरदौस की तलाश में !!

Comments

  • If anyone have idea what were the reason behind calling NTT as constitutionally invalid.
    Whether it was violation of Article 323B, inserted into the Constitution via the 42nd Amendment, violation of the basic features of the Constitution (such as the rule of law, the separation of powers, and the independence of the judiciary) or
    whether Tribunal are inferior to HC coz the former neither have the capacity nor expertise
    My understanding is that if NTT was invalid than same principle shud apply on all other tribunals also.
    tribunal was declared unconstitutional because it ursuped the Jurisdiction of hc.tribunals cannot take away appellate powers of hc As sc said in chanda Kumar case
    2014-1st attempt,mains--pol science
  • yes, what @hummingbird is perfectly correct. It was infringing the jurisdiction of HC and tribunals are not equivalent to HC (for ex. no independence of judges). You can check more at: https://indconlawphil.wordpress.com/2014/09/30/the-national-tax-tribunals-judgment-two-constitutional-issues/
    Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.
  • @hummingbird is it like this
    ...from lower court it goes to tribunal thn to SC, and HC is completely bypassed. Usually this doesnt happen with other tribunals.
    मैं खड़ा हूँ उसी दोराहे पे, आज भी इंतज़ार में तेरे !
    या तो ज़िन्दगी आये तेरे लिबास में! या मैं चलूँ फिरदौस की तलाश में !!
  • @hummingbird is it like this
    ...from lower court it goes to tribunal thn to SC, and HC is completely bypassed. Usually this doesnt happen with other tribunals.
    yes it is like this.the main purpose of tribunals was to bypass hc as large number of cases get stuck in hc.but in sc ruled in chanda Kumar case that tribunals are subordinate to hc and therefore tribunals cannot be constituted to infringe on the jurisdiction of hc.the govt can enlarge the power of hc and sc but it cannot restrict their jurisdiction.
    2014-1st attempt,mains--pol science
  • @hummingbird shukriya
    मैं खड़ा हूँ उसी दोराहे पे, आज भी इंतज़ार में तेरे !
    या तो ज़िन्दगी आये तेरे लिबास में! या मैं चलूँ फिरदौस की तलाश में !!
  • If anyone have idea what were the reason behind calling NTT as constitutionally invalid.
    Whether it was violation of Article 323B, inserted into the Constitution via the 42nd Amendment, violation of the basic features of the Constitution (such as the rule of law, the separation of powers, and the independence of the judiciary) or
    whether Tribunal are inferior to HC coz the former neither have the capacity nor expertise
    My understanding is that if NTT was invalid than same principle shud apply on all other tribunals also.
    tribunal was declared unconstitutional because it ursuped the Jurisdiction of hc.tribunals cannot take away appellate powers of hc As sc said in chanda Kumar case
    This is only partially correct.
    I say "partially", because in Chandra Kumar judgment of 1997, the administrative tribunals were not held to be constitutionally invalid. Only the provision that appeal can not be made to HC was struck off.
    Why then in this NTT case (of 2014), whole of NTT was held constitutionally invalid?

    Well, in this case, the Supreme Court has gone one step ahead from Chandra Kumar judgment. SC said that even if a tribunal is not bypassing HC, the essential function of a tribunal is to adjudicate. And so, the tribunal must look like and work like Judicial courts.
    For example, the members of the tribunal should be appointed by a process similar to the appointment of judges, and there should be security of tenure for them. Then only tribunal would work independently like judiciary.
    Similarly, NTT act allowed charted accountants to represent their clients' cases. But the tax disputes involve substantial questions of law, and so allowing CAs (who are trained in accounts, not in law) to represent in such cases can affect administration of justice.

    Even the structure of NTT was questionable. It did not have any regional branch. The tribunal sat only in Delhi. Supreme Court said that the purpose of creating any tribunal is to provide quicker justice. Here however, NTT Act didn't seem to have taken any step in that direction. Only motive, it appeared, was to usurp the authority of courts without providing any proper substitute for the same.
    So SC struck off the National Tax Tribunal Act in toto as Constitutionally invalid.

    @Jatsab
    “The starting point of all achievement is DESIRE. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desire brings weak results, just as a small fire makes a small amount of heat.”
    ― Napoleon Hill
  • If anyone have idea what were the reason behind calling NTT as constitutionally invalid.
    Whether it was violation of Article 323B, inserted into the Constitution via the 42nd Amendment, violation of the basic features of the Constitution (such as the rule of law, the separation of powers, and the independence of the judiciary) or
    whether Tribunal are inferior to HC coz the former neither have the capacity nor expertise
    My understanding is that if NTT was invalid than same principle shud apply on all other tribunals also.
    tribunal was declared unconstitutional because it ursuped the Jurisdiction of hc.tribunals cannot take away appellate powers of hc As sc said in chanda Kumar case
    This is only partially correct.
    I say "partially", because in Chandra Kumar judgment of 1997, the administrative tribunals were not held to be constitutionally invalid. Only the provision that appeal can not be made to HC was struck off.
    Why then in this NTT case (of 2014), whole of NTT was held constitutionally invalid?

    Well, in this case, the Supreme Court has gone one step ahead from Chandra Kumar judgment. SC said that even if a tribunal is not bypassing HC, the essential function of a tribunal is to adjudicate. And so, the tribunal must look like and work like Judicial courts.
    For example, the members of the tribunal should be appointed by a process similar to the appointment of judges, and there should be security of tenure for them. Then only tribunal would work independently like judiciary.
    Similarly, NTT act allowed charted accountants to represent their clients' cases. But the tax disputes involve substantial questions of law, and so allowing CAs (who are trained in accounts, not in law) to represent in such cases can affect administration of justice.

    Even the structure of NTT was questionable. It did not have any regional branch. The tribunal sat only in Delhi. Supreme Court said that the purpose of creating any tribunal is to provide quicker justice. Here however, NTT Act didn't seem to have taken any step in that direction. Only motive, it appeared, was to usurp the authority of courts without providing any proper substitute for the same.
    So SC struck off the National Tax Tribunal Act in toto as Constitutionally invalid.

    @Jatsab
    That effort by @ck10203 needs

    =D> ^:)^
    First attempt in 2014 - couldn't clear prelims, second to be in 2018
    Optional - medical sciences
  • @Dr_rrrrohit014 means samjh nahi aaya ;))
    मैं खड़ा हूँ उसी दोराहे पे, आज भी इंतज़ार में तेरे !
    या तो ज़िन्दगी आये तेरे लिबास में! या मैं चलूँ फिरदौस की तलाश में !!
  • @ck10203 bahut badhiya bhai, :\">
    मैं खड़ा हूँ उसी दोराहे पे, आज भी इंतज़ार में तेरे !
    या तो ज़िन्दगी आये तेरे लिबास में! या मैं चलूँ फिरदौस की तलाश में !!
  • @ck10203 bhai but the issue remain, coz most of the tribunal are quasi judicial bodies. They have policy makers, experts etc. Again appointment procedure for other tribunals also nt in the line with HC(if u have members other thn judges, how can procedure be the same). So certainly tribunal wud differ from HC on these terms .
    So i have doubt, if on these term NTT declared invalid other bodies also deserve the same. 8->
    मैं खड़ा हूँ उसी दोराहे पे, आज भी इंतज़ार में तेरे !
    या तो ज़िन्दगी आये तेरे लिबास में! या मैं चलूँ फिरदौस की तलाश में !!
  • @ck10203 bhai but the issue remain, coz most of the tribunal are quasi judicial bodies. They have policy makers, experts etc. Again appointment procedure for other tribunals also nt in the line with HC(if u have members other thn judges, how can procedure be the same). So certainly tribunal wud differ from HC on these terms .
    So i have doubt, if on these term NTT declared invalid other bodies also deserve the same. 8->
    Yes, this is one of the criticism of the judgment which many editorials have been hurling on Supreme Court.

    The crux is this: in Administrative Tribunals, the matter of dispute is over facts and only rarely over the explanation of law.
    In Tax disputes, law is often complicated. When an entity tries to avoid tax, it resorts to the legal loopholes or ambiguities in law. Therefore, SC felt that NTT would be dealing mostly with the substantial questions of law, which is really the job of judiciary. This calls for a more stricture over appointment, procedure etc in NTT.

    The similar appointment procedures means: bureaucrats should not be appointed as NTT tribunal members (otherwise there will be no separation of power), taking advice from judiciary, appointment directly by president, security of tenure, the legal qualification of members etc.

    Let me know if any doubt still remains. @jatsab

    Regards.
    “The starting point of all achievement is DESIRE. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desire brings weak results, just as a small fire makes a small amount of heat.”
    ― Napoleon Hill
  • not NTT related but since lots of you know about the law - why do we have so many layers available for justice?

    lower court, high court then supreme court. plus appeals to diff bench in the same court. what a waste of time and money. plus tribunals. both civil and criminal cases waste so much time

    how does our system stack up vis-à-vis other countries? do they too have so many layers available? if anyone cld answer or point me towards a relevant article pls.
  • @ck10203 बंधु विरोधाभासों के घेरों ने मुझे और जकड़ लिया है | Chandra Kumar judgment of 1997, यह बहुत सरल है tribunal HC की आधिकारिता में अनाधिकृत प्रवेश नहीं कर सकता और HC को बायपास नहीं कर सकता कितना सरल है और मुझे समझ भी आ गया
    पर NTT का मुद्दा मुझे नहीं समझ आ रहा | इसे हम NGT के आलोक में देखे, नेशनल green tribunal को ही लो इसकी मूल न्यायआधिकारिता में 'पर्यावरण से सम्बद्ध गंभीर मुद्दे(“substantial question relating to environment”) आते हैं तो सिर्फ यह नहीं कह सकते की यह सिर्फ सतही तौर पर फैक्ट पर ही आधारित होता है और तो और NGT की शक्ति को suo-motu क्लॉज़ ने और बढ़ा दी है और जहाँ तक मुझे ज्ञात है किसी भी tribunal की सांविधिकता तब तक ही रहेगी जब तक की judges की संख्या गैर न्याय प्रष्ठभूमि के लोगों से ज्यादा हो किन्तु ऐसे मौके भी आये हैं जब इस नॉर्म की अनुपालना नहीं की जाती |
    procedure, members की नियुक्ति के मुद्दे, tenure के मुद्दे पर ये ज़रूर HC के समकक्ष है के मुद्दे पर मुझे कोई संदेह नहीं हैं पर मेरा संदेह है की -जब tribunal में गैर न्यायिक प्रष्ठभूमि के लोग होंगे, जब उनकी आधिकारिता इतनी ज्यादा होगी, तो इन मुद्दों पर इनका HC के साथ तुलना समीचीन नहीं होगी यह बहुत खुला प्रश्न है जिस पर विवाद किये जा सकते हैं परन्तु NTT को गैर संवैधानिक कहना मेरी समझ से परे है
    मैं खड़ा हूँ उसी दोराहे पे, आज भी इंतज़ार में तेरे !
    या तो ज़िन्दगी आये तेरे लिबास में! या मैं चलूँ फिरदौस की तलाश में !!
  • @ck10203 बंधु विरोधाभासों के घेरों ने मुझे और जकड़ लिया है | Chandra Kumar judgment of 1997, यह बहुत सरल है tribunal HC की आधिकारिता में अनाधिकृत प्रवेश नहीं कर सकता और HC को बायपास नहीं कर सकता कितना सरल है और मुझे समझ भी आ गया
    पर NTT का मुद्दा मुझे नहीं आ रहा | इसे हम NGT के आलोक में देखे, नेशनल green tribunal को ही लो इसकी मूल न्यायआधिकारिता में 'पर्यावरण से सम्बद्ध गंभीर मुद्दे(“substantial question relating to environment”) आते हैं तो सिर्फ यह नहीं कह सकते की यह सिर्फ सतही तौर पर फैक्ट पर ही आधारित होता है और तो और NGT की शक्ति को suo-motu क्लॉज़ ने और बढ़ा दी है और जहाँ तक मुझे ज्ञात है किसी भी tribunal की सांविधिकता तब तक ही रहेगी जब तक की judges की संख्या गैर न्याय प्रष्ठभूमि के लोगों से ज्यादा हो किन्तु ऐसे मौके भी आये हैं जब इस नॉर्म की अनुपालना नहीं की जाती |
    procedure, members की नियुक्ति के मुद्दे, tenure के मुद्दे पर ये ज़रूर HC के समकक्ष है के मुद्दे पर मुझे कोई संदेह नहीं हैं पर मेरा संदेह है की -जब tribunal में गैर न्यायिक प्रष्ठभूमि के लोग होंगे, जब उनकी आधिकारिता इतनी ज्यादा होगी, तो इन मुद्दों पर इनका HC के साथ तुलना समीचीन नहीं होगी यह बहुत खुला प्रश्न है जिस पर विवाद किये जा सकते हैं परन्तु NTT को गैर संवैधानिक कहना मेरी समझ से परे है
    Your frustration is understandable. NTT judgment is not an easy thing to grasp.
    See the issue in this way: After (and even before) Chandra Kumar judgment, a trend had started in which Government started creating tribunals in every field. This Supreme Court apprehended as encroachment on its own authority. Even now tussle is going on between judiciary and executive, and SC is trying to snatch as much power from tribunals as possible. If the constitutionality of National Green Tribunal is challenged today, SC may have second thought on this too.

    That aside, the Green Tribunal Act should not be equated with Tax Tribunal Act. Take for example, in Green Tribunal the chairperson is appointed by Central Government in consultation with the Chief Justice of India. In Tax Tribunal, however, the chairperson along with members is selected by a Selection Committee. Even in this selection committee, there are two representatives of Central government (secretaries of Law ministry and Finance ministry) and only one from Judiciary.
    Also, National Green Tribunal mainly deals with fact finding things for example, who degraded the environment, what exactly is nature of pollution, how much should be the compensations, whether the EIAs were done properly or not etc. Tax Tribunal would have primarily discussed legal issues. Tax litigation, you may know, are generally based on innovative interpretation of law. The facts are seldom disputed. Think about the recent Vodafone Tax cases as examples.

    So, NGT and NTT are different in nature. They are different in their mandates as well as in their procedures. But I won't be surprised if some day Supreme Court strikes off some provisions or even in toto the National Green Tribunal Act too.

    Regards.
    “The starting point of all achievement is DESIRE. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desire brings weak results, just as a small fire makes a small amount of heat.”
    ― Napoleon Hill
  • not NTT related but since lots of you know about the law - why do we have so many layers available for justice?

    lower court, high court then supreme court. plus appeals to diff bench in the same court. what a waste of time and money. plus tribunals. both civil and criminal cases waste so much time

    how does our system stack up vis-à-vis other countries? do they too have so many layers available? if anyone cld answer or point me towards a relevant article pls.
    All nations with developed legal systems have such provisions of layered structure of judiciary. They are not wastage of resources, rather they serve many essential purposes:

    1. The first important thing is to maintain uniformity of adjudication. What would happen if for similar crime for example pick-pocketing, a court in Tamil Nadu fines 100 Rs, and a court in Punjab gives 7 years of imprisonment. Worse still what if a court near Khap Panchayat gets swayed and fines girls for wearing jeans or using cellphones!!
    To prevent this injustice, there should be some higher judicial authority which can set a precedent. Thus a Higher court can establish that such a crime will be punished with 1 year of imprisonment etc, and then in each case lawyers can point out to this higher judiciary's earlier judgment and force the judge to follow this precedent.
    (This is what we term SC and HC as Court of records.)

    For the same logic, whenever there is an apprehension of improper judgment or biases by judges, there should be a provision of appeal against it. In cases where it is certain that there is no bias/injustice, by Res Judicata further appeal can be disallowed.

    2. There are certain cases which are of such crucial importance that only best of the legal minds should be allowed to deliberate upon it. For example, the interpretation of constitution, resolving disputes between states, election of president etc.

    3. Also, if all courts are of the same layer, who will administer them. You can not leave the administration of courts to executive. This will be clearly against the Separation of Power principle.

    So, layered structure of judiciary is something of a necessary evil. What we should think of is to have a mechanism of filtering out these frivolous appeals against the lower court judgments. Judiciary has taken many steps in this direction in last few years.

    Regards.
    “The starting point of all achievement is DESIRE. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desire brings weak results, just as a small fire makes a small amount of heat.”
    ― Napoleon Hill
  • there is uniform legislative laws for creation of tribunals..also over the years administration has turned complex and diverse..now we have tax tribunals,NGT,SAT,the one tribunal related to film certification etc.
    the s.court has not enough basis to decide on their validity,hence the absurd decisions.it thinks that these bodies are bypassing them,and hence are invalid.
    "i am the guy doing my job,you must be the other guy."
  • @ck10203 ...."Thnks a lot"....though i didnt post any querry regarding this issue but u'have cleared my doubts about this judgement too...thnks again!..:-)
  • @ck10203 thnks bhai , things are pretty clear :\">
    मैं खड़ा हूँ उसी दोराहे पे, आज भी इंतज़ार में तेरे !
    या तो ज़िन्दगी आये तेरे लिबास में! या मैं चलूँ फिरदौस की तलाश में !!
  • @ck10203 ...."Thnks a lot"....though i didnt post any querry regarding this issue but u'have cleared my doubts about this judgement too...thnks again!..:-)
    Welcome. I'm glad I could be of some help.
    Regards.
    “The starting point of all achievement is DESIRE. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desire brings weak results, just as a small fire makes a small amount of heat.”
    ― Napoleon Hill
  • @ck10203

    Thanks a ton. It really helped to understand the issue from a more informed perspective.

    What about the idea of reducing the number of layers rather than eliminating them all together? Having just one appeal opportunity rather than 4-5.

    Like an idea that was floated last year of reserving the SC only for issues of constitutional interpretations. Like you said we need higher judiciary to correct problems of lower judiciary. But with cases extending for at least a decade, shouldn't we factor in the time that is taken to dispense the said justice. And more importantly the huge resources that are required to fight those case beyond the means of ordinary people.

    With so many appeals available, hasn't it become ironically a method to evade justice esp for people with resources?

    Again this is all a theoretical discussion because the judiciary will not allow anyone to take away its powers or jurisdiction but i would like the opinion of someone who seems more acquainted with the legal aspects.
Sign In or Join to comment.
Success Stories from Our Toppers
Minal Karanwal(AIR-35)- CSE 2018
Naveen Reddy(AIR-1)- IFoS 2018
Arushi Mishra(AIR-2) - IFoS 2018
Chirag Jain(AIR-10) - IFoS 2018
Kshitij Saxena(AIR-22) - IFoS 2018
Sumit Rai (AIR-54) - CSE 2018
Anuraj Jain (AIR-24) - CSE 2018

Must Read Articles From Blog
Trend Analysis of UPSC CSE Prelims from 2011-18
How Yo_Yo_Choti_Singh Improved His Writing Speed
How to clear Civil Services with a TOP Rank and AVOID exhausting attempts

Welcome!

We are a secret self-moderated community for Civil Services preparation. Feel free to join, start a discussion, answer a question or just to say Thank you.

Just dont spread the word ;)

Sign in or join with Facebook or Google


Factly