SC strikes down National Tax Tribunal

The Supreme Court has struck down the National Tax Tribunal Act, holding it unconstitutional.  The judgement held that the government could not vest judicial powers with a tribunal without according to it the characteristics of a court and ensuring its autonomy.

A Constitutional Bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice R.M. Lodha, said that Parliament could not take away the powers of the judiciary and rest them in a tribunal which is not a court in its characteristic.

Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman in a separate but concurring judgment, describing the tribunal as unconstitutional and in breach of separation of powers between different organs of the State, said that the substantial question of law can only be decided by the higher judiciary—the Supreme Court and the High Courts.

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