Madras Bar Association versus Union of India and another

                     IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA


                 TRANSFERRED CASE (C) NO. 150 OF 2006

Madras Bar Association …                                                       Petitioner(s)


Union of India and another …                                              Respondent

 The issue which arises for consideration before us, pertains to the constitutional validity of the National Tax Tribunal Act, 2005. Simultaneously, the constitutional Validity of the Constitution (Forty-second Amendment) Act, 1976 has been assailed, by asserting, that the same violates the basic structure of the Constitution of India, by impinging on the power of “judicial review” vested in the High Court. In the event of this Court not acceding to the aforementioned prayers, a challenge in the alternative has been raised to various provisions of the NTT Act, which has led to the constitution of the National Tax Tribunal. The NTT, according to the learned counsel for the petitioners, is styled as a quasi- judicial appellate tribunal. It has been vested with the power of adjudicating appeals arising from orders passed by Appellate Tribunals (Constituted under the Income Tax Act, the Customs Act, 1962, and the Central Excise Act, 1944). Hitherto before, the instant jurisdiction was vested with High

Courts. The pointed issue canvassed in this behalf is, that High Courts which discharge judicial functions, cannot be substituted by an extra-judicial body.Additionally, it is maintained that the NTT in the manner of its constitution undermines a process of independence and fairness, which are sine qua non ofan adjudicatory more