The Supreme Court has often stated that 10 years of legal experience is sufficient for appointment as a tribunal judge: High Court of Bombay

The Bombay High Court has declared that 10 years of expertise in law or other specialised professions is adequate for appointment as a judicial member of the Tribunal, effectively nullifying certain aspects of the new Consumer Protection Rules, 2020. As a result, the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court declared Rules 3(2)(b) and 4(2)(c) of the 2020 Rules, which require a minimum of 20 years’ experience for President and Members of the State Commission and a minimum of 15 years’ experience for Presidents and Members of District Forums, to be unconstitutional and in violation of Article 14 of the Indian Constitution.

The High Court cited Supreme Court decisions in the Madras Bar Association (MBA-2020 and MBA-2021) cases, which stated that advocates with ten years of experience should be considered for appointment as members of Tribunals. As a result, the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court declared Rules 3(2)(b) and 4(2)(c) of the 2020 Rules, which require a minimum of 20 years’ experience for President and Members of the State Commission and a minimum of 15 years’ experience for Presidents and Members of District Forums, to be unconstitutional and in violation of Article 14 of the Indian Constitution.

The High Court cited Supreme Court decisions in the Madras Bar Association (MBA-2020 and MBA-2021) cases, which stated that advocates with ten years of experience should be considered for appointment as members of Tribunals. Similarly, in State of U.P. & Ors. Vs. All U.P. Consumer Protection Bar Association, the Supreme Court stated that a member must be a person of ability and standing with adequate knowledge and experience of at least 10 years in dealing with problems relating to economics, law, commerce, accountancy, industry, public affairs, or administration, both in relation to the State Commissions and the district for a.

“Thus, it is apparent that the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India has consistently held that having 10 years of experience in law and other specialised subjects, as mandated and stipulated by the Act, is adequate for appointment as a judicial member of the Tribunal,” the court wrote. The Rules of 2020, Rules 3(2)(b) and 4(2)(c), to the extent that they prescribe a minimum experience of not less than 20 years for appointment of President and Members of State Commission and not less than 15 years for appointment of Presidents and Members of District Commission under the Act of 2019, are an attempt to get around the directions issued in MBA-2020 and UPCPBA.

Case Name: Vijaykumar Bhima Dighe v. Union of India and others and Dr.Mahindra Bhaskar Limaye v.Union of India and others

Committee of Selection The court discussed the negative effects of not having appropriate criteria for selection and uniformity in selection in striking down provision 6(9) of the Rules, which gives each state’s selection committee the power to determine its own procedure for recommending names for appointment in the order of merit for the State Government to consider. The petitioners contended that, notwithstanding the Supreme Court’s approval of the model rules in UPCPBA in 2017, which contained a written test, the provision was removed from the final 2020 Rules.

However, the Maharashtra Selection Committee did not mandate a written exam, merely a viva test. And, during the pendency of the current petition and in the midst of the selection procedure, the Selection Committee decided to hold a written exam for selection. The court ruled that this violated the well-established legal principle that rules for selection cannot be amended in the middle of a selection process. Furthermore, the choice of the Selection Committee to hold the written test supports the petitioner’s cause when considering the judicial tasks required by the President and Members of District and State Commissions.

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