New Delhi, Nov 13 : Welcoming the Supreme Court's order striking down rules in the amended Finance Act 2017 on tribunals and directing the Central government to reformulate fresh norms with respect to appointment of tribunal members, the Congress on Monday said the apex court has closed the doors for arbitrary appointment by the Modi government.
'SC today gave its order on my petition dated Sepember 4, 2017. This is a victory of our democracy and Rajya Sabha. On February 1, 2017, then Finance Minister, late Arun Jaitley had proposed amendments in 19 special tribunals in the budget. These were part of Finance Bill 2017,' Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said at a press conference here. 'I filed this petition on behalf of the party but this is not just a victory for Congress, this is the victory for the Rajya Sabha, democracy and a very big defeat of the Modi government,' he said.
'The Government did not have a majority in the Rajya Sabha, so they found a way and declared every bill as a money bill and hence they were not debated in Rajya Sabha. Today, that door has been shut by the Supreme Court,' the Congress leader said. He said the Supreme Court has closed the doors for arbitrary appointment by Modi government. Citing from the judgement, he said the SC has said the rules which were framed by the government in the last 1.5 years, are illegal, told them to frame the rules again and get them cleared by Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
He said the Supreme Court has clearly stated that the amendments brought in by the Finance Bill 2017 are rejected. 'The SC has said that if amendments are to be done, do it in the law of the tribunal. They should be debated in Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha,' the Congress leader said.
'Today, the Supreme Court gave three decisions: - - I had demanded that it should not be brought in the form of money bill. Today the Supreme Court said that this matter should go to a larger bench. Hence the question arises that it cannot be a money bill,' he said.
'Amendments were introduced in form of money bills, Lok Sabha has the right to debate them, not so the Rajya Sabha. This amendment meant that qualifications, experiences of judicial and technical members in NGT were ignored and government was empowered to make arbitrary appointments,' the Congress leader added. (UNI)