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Parliament clears Bill seeking to abolish various tribunals

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman moved the bill which seeks to abolish several tribunals as set up under different Acts such as Cinematograph Act, 1952, the Customs Act, 1962, the Airports Authority of India Act, 1994, the Trade Marks Act, 1999 and the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers' Rights Act, 2001.

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New Delhi: Parliament has accorded its approval to the Tribunals Reforms Bill with Rajya Sabha passing it by voice vote amid continued Opposition protests over alleged Pegasus snooping and other issues.

The bill was approved by Lok Sabha on August 3.

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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman moved the bill which seeks to abolish several tribunals as set up under different Acts such as Cinematograph Act, 1952, the Customs Act, 1962, the Airports Authority of India Act, 1994, the Trade Marks Act, 1999 and the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Act, 2001.

As part of its tribunals rationalization plan rolled out in 2015, the Centre has closed down or merged various tribunals based on functional similarity.

By the Finance Act, 2017, seven tribunals were abolished or merged based on functional similarity and their total number was reduced from 26 to 19.

As per the bill, Chairman and Members of the tribunal so abolished shall cease to hold office, and they shall be entitled to claim compensation not exceeding three months’ pay and allowances for the premature termination of term of their office or of any contract of service.

Some of the Opposition members wanted the Bill to be sent to a Select Committee for further scrutiny but it was negated by a division vote.

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