"Independence of judiciary not a ground for testing statutes": Centre vehemently defends Tribunal Reforms Act

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The Central Government has informed the Supreme Court that the Tribunal Reform's Act, 2021 does not violate fundamental rights or any provision of the Constitution and that ot is wholly within competency to frame it, in its reply to a batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Tribunal Reform's Act, 2021.

The reply filed by the Central Government said that Act is a culmination of a series of decisions of the Supreme Court and an equal number of statutes and rules in regard to the same matter, which is unprecedented in the history of the Supreme Court.

The plea filed by Madras Bar Association and others has alleged that the section 3(1), 3(7), 5, 7(1) of the Act violates Article 14, 21, 50 of the Constitution of India.

Whereas, the Center submits that, "It has been held in a series of cases including by two Constitutional Bench decisions and by a 7 judges bench of this Hon'ble Court that basic structure in the Constitution can only be used to test the validity of a Constitutional amendment but has no relevance when it comes to validity of a statue."

In relation to the observation of the Court in another Judgment stating that once a mandamus is issued by the Court, it is bound to be obeyed by the Executive and the Legislature. The Central Government while referring to the judgment of the Supreme Court in Virender Singh Hooda v. State of Haryana said, "This is not so...It has already been stated that these directives to mould the legislation so as to implement the directives of the Court in regard to these four aspects is tantamount to directing Parliament to legislate in a particular manner. It has therefore been stated earlier that these directions are ex facie beyond the competence of the Supreme Court and, to give it validity, one could only treat it as recommendations and not binding directives."

"If for any reason independence of the judiciary is treated as the basis, one could not phrase a provision by declaring that independence is removed which would ex facie sound antithetical. What is more, independence of the judiciary is not a ground which can be used for testing statutes," the response added.

Case Title: Madras Bar Association Vs. Union of India and Anr

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