Congress leader and Member of Rajya Sabha, Jairam Ramesh has filed a petition before the Supreme Court challenging the constitutional validity of Sections 3(7), 5 and 7 (1) of the Tribunals Reforms Act, 2021, which received presidential assent on August 13, 2021. .The plea filed on Monday said that Section 3(1) along with Sections 3(7), 5 and 7(1) of the Tribunal Reforms Act, 2021 violate Articles 14, 21 and 50 of the Constitution. ."The Petitioner is aggrieved by the Act abrogating the principle of judicial independence, and its passage being a deliberate attempt to legislatively override the judgement of this Court in Madras Bar Association v. Union of India (July 2021 judgment) which set aside provisions identical to those being impugned, without removing the basis of the judgement," the petition said..Ramesh submitted that Section 3 (1) of the Tribunals Reforms Act, 2021 is flagrantly unconstitutional in so far as it violates Articles 14 and 50 of the Constitution. The provision bars appointment to tribunals of persons below fifty years of age. This, the petitioner said, undermines the length/security of tenure and violates both judicial independence and the principle of separation of powers, it was contended..Regarding Section 3(7) of the Tribunals Act which mandates the recommendation of a panel of two names by the search-cum selection committee to the Central Government, it was submitted that the same violates the principles of separation of powers and judicial independence. "Section 3 (7) therefore contravenes Articles 14, 21 and 50 of the Constitution. The mandate to recommend two names as per Section 3 (7) of the impugned Act is identical to Section 184 (7) of the Finance Act, 2017 which was unanimously set aside by this Hon’ble Court in Madras Bar Association -IV," the plea stated..Ramesh submitted that Section 3(7) of the Act to the extent it grants discretion to the Central Government to take a decision on the recommendations made by that Committee, preferably within three months from the date of such recommendation nullifies the directions of the Supreme Court in Madras Bar Association III judgment. .Section 5 of the Act fixes the tenure of the Chairperson and Member as tenure of four years.This, Ramesh contended, goes against the directions of the Supreme Court in the judgments of Supreme Court in Rojer Mathew, MBA-III-2020 and MBA-IV-2021 which mandate that the minimum tenure should be 5 years. .Further, Section 7(1) of the 2021 Act, which allows the government discretion to fix HRA other than in conformity with the parameters as set by Supreme Court in MBA-IV-2021, "violates the security of services conditions of appointees, the principles of judicial independence and thereby Article 14", the plea said..The plea pointed out that Section 3(1) and Sections 3(7), 5 and 7 (1) of the Tribunals Reforms Act, 2021 are identical to corresponding Sections 184 (1), 184 (7) and 184 (11) of the Finance Act, 2017, which were set aside by Supreme Court in MBA-IV-2021 for violating the principles of judicial independence, separation of powers and Article 14 of the Constitution..Interestingly, Chief Justice of India NV Ramana also observed on Monday that the Central government should show the court what was the reason to pass this law and whether any parliamentary debates took place before passage of law to overcome the top court's directions..The Parliament had passed the Tribunal Reforms Act, 2021 laying down the tenures and other service conditions of tribunal members.However, many of the provisions of the law run contrary to the mandate of the Supreme Court judgment regarding tenures of service of tribunal members.The Supreme Court had on July 14 struck down the newly inserted Section 184 of the Finance Act, 2017 as amended by the Tribunal Reforms (Rationalisation and Conditions of Service) Ordinance, 2021 (Ordinance) to the extent that it fixed the tenure of members and chairperson of tribunals at 4 years.The top court had ruled that Section 184(11) of the Finance Act, which prescribes a tenure of four years for members, was contrary to the principles of separation of powers, independence of judiciary, rule of law and Article 14 of the Constitution of India as well as the judgment of the apex court in the Madras Bar Association III case."Consequently, the declaration of this Court in para 53(iv) of (the judgment in) Madras Bar Association-III shall prevail and the term of Chairperson of a Tribunal shall be five years or till she or he attains the age of 70 years, whichever is earlier and the term of Member of a Tribunal shall be five years or till she or he attains the age of 67 years, whichever is earlier," the Supreme Court had ordered.However, as per Section 5 of the new Bill, the term of office of the Chairperson of a tribunal shall be four years or till the person attains age of 70, whichever is earlier. Similarly, for members of tribunals, the tenure has been prescribed as four years or till he/she attains 67 years, whichever is earlier."Notwithstanding anything contained in any judgment, order or decree of any court, or in any law for the time being in force, — (i) the Chairperson of a Tribunal shall hold office for a term of four years or till he attains the age of seventy years, whichever is earlier; (ii) the Member of a Tribunal shall hold office for a term of four years or till he attains the age of sixty-seven years, whichever is earlier," it said.Likewise, the Court had in its July 2021 judgment held that fixing 50 years as minimum age for appointment is unconstitutional.However, the same reappears in the new law as proviso to Section 3.Similarly, the Supreme Court in its July 14 ruling had held that the provision relating to recommendation of two names for each post by the Search-cum-Selection Committee (SCSC) and further, requiring the decision to be taken by the government preferably within three months, is violative of the Constitution.But the new Act in Section 3(7) lays down the same."Notwithstanding anything contained in any judgment, order or decree of any court, or in any law for the time being in force, the Search-cum-Selection Committee shall recommend a panel of two names for appointment to the post of Chairperson or Member, as the case may be, and the Central Government shall take a decision on the recommendations made by that Committee, preferably within three months from the date of such recommendation," the Act states.Earlier, in November 2020, the Supreme Court in its judgment had ordered that the term of office of the Chairperson and tribunal members should be five years. The Court had also ordered some other modifications to the 2020 Rules in this regard.In order to get over the same, the government had introduced the 2021 Ordinance which kept the tenure at four years.This move was once again struck down in the July 2021 judgment, following which the present Bill was introduced.