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Government issues tribunal reforms ordinance

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  • Categories
    Polity & Governance
  • Published
    8th Apr, 2021


The Centre has amended 10 laws to remove several appellate bodies through the Tribunals Reforms (Rationalisation and Conditions of Service) Ordinance, 2021.

About the Ordinance

  • It aims to abolish certain tribunals and authorities and to provide a mechanism for filing an appeal directly to the commercial court or HC.
  • The statement of purpose for the Bill mentions that it was been amended to streamline tribunals.
  • Amended laws: The laws which are amended include the:
    • Cinematograph Act, 1952
    • Copyright Act, 1957
    • Customs Act, 1962
    • Patents Act, 1970
    • Airport Authority of India Act, 1994
    • Trade Marks Act, 1999
    • Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999
    • Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Act, 2001
    • Control of National Highways (Land and Traffic) Act, 2002
    • the Finance Act, 2017
  • FCAT removal: The issued ordinance would do away with certain appellate tribunals, including the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) which is set up to hear appeals of filmmakers, and transfers their functions to other existing judicial bodies.
  • The FCAT was a statutory body constituted for hearing appeals of filmmakers aggrieved by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).


  • Tribunals were not part of the original constitution and were incorporated in the Indian Constitution by 42nd Amendment Act, 1976.
    • Article 323-A includes the Administrative Tribunals.
    • Article 323-B includes tribunals for other matters.

Types of tribunals:

The Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985 provides for three types of tribunals

  • The Central Government establishes the administrative tribunal called the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT).
  • The Central Government on receipt of a request on this behalf from any State Government can establish an administrative tribunal for such State employees.
  • Two or more States might ask for a Joint Administrative Tribunal (JAT), which exercises powers of the administrative tribunals for such States.