As an amendment to the Finance Bill, the government brought the axe down on the eight tribunals. The same has been done to rationalise tribunals and bring in more uniformity in terms of service and efficiency.
Competition Appellate Tribunal (Compat) will be merged with the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal. The Cyber Appellate Tribunal and the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority Appellate Tribunal will be merged with the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal. Employees Provident Fund, will be subsumed into the Industrial Tribunal.
Of the major tribunals, Compat, which hears company appeals against Competition Commission of India orders, was expected to be on the chopping block. A single Tribunal is expected to be surely more efficient than having multiple ones.
India has a number of tribunals to look into appeals made from orders of specific regulators or sectors. Hence post merging, the Centre will have to ensure specialisation.
High courts that deal with all matters have dedicated benches. Similarly in tribunals too, specific cases can be dealt by respective benches. Senior people from diverse backgrounds, can be appointed to deal with varied industry matters.
Merging COMPAT with NCLT can also lead to overburdening the latter with more cases than it could handle. The new Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code has designated NCLT as the adjudicating authority for corporates cases.