NA unanimously adopts service tribunals (amendment) bill, 2014

ISLAMABAD: National Assembly on Friday unanimously adopted The Service Tribunals (Amendment) bill, 2014 providing criterion for the appointment of chairman and members of Federal Service Tribunal (FST), powers to implement its orders and spend its budget independently.

Statements of Objects and Reasons says ‘Some of the provisions of Federal Service Tribunal Act, 1973 are ultra vires to the constitution as held by the Supreme Court in its judgment of March 25, 2013.

Judicial procedure is involved in FST cases, therefore it is imperative that appointments of Chairman and Members of FST should commensurate with qualifications and experience in the relevant field in line with the procedure adopted for appointment in judiciary.

Presently FST does not have power to spend its budget independently therefore there is a need to make it financially autonomous. Presently Secretary law and justice division is Principal Accounting Officer of FST.

FST does not have powers to get is orders/judgments implemented,therefore appellants approach respective High courts for implementation of the orders/judgments of FST, thus, creating extra burden for the High Courts. Thus provision of such power for FST would not only make it an effective judicial forum but also reduce the burden of the respective High Courts.

The insertions have been made in the Service Tribunal Act 1973 allowing the powers to tribunal to execute its decisions and allowing the Registrar to be the Principal Accounting Officer of FST. The Tribunal shall decide review petitions within 30 days.

Sub-Section (1) of the Service Tribunal Act 1973, has been substituted with “The President may by notification in the official gazette establish one or more Service Tribunals as hereinafter provided and where there are established more than one Tribunal the President shall specify in the notification the territorial limits within which or the class or classes or cases in respect of which each such Tribunal shall exercise jurisdiction under this Act.”

The sub section (3) of the 1973 Act has been substituted ” A tribunal shall consists of a chairman, being a person who has been or is qualified to be judge of a High Court.

Such number of members not less than three each of whom is or has been (i) a District Judge; or (ii) a person who for a period of not less than two years has held a post of BS 21 or above or equivalent under the Federal Government or a Provincial with adequate quasi-judicial or legal experience, preference being given to a person having background of dealing with service matters: or (iii) An Advocate qualified for appointment as Judge of a High Court.