The West Bengal Assembly on Monday passed the West Bengal Taxation Tribunal (Amendment) Bill, 2022 which seeks to replace the Governor with the State Government as the appointing authority of the Tribunal Chairman and judicial members in consultation with the Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court.
Henceforth, the technical member of the Tribunal will also be appointed by the State government instead of the Governor.
The Bill further stipulates that the Chairman or any other member of the Tribunal cannot be removed by the State government except on the ground of proven misbehaviour or incapacity following an enquiry by the Chief Justice or a sitting High Court judge as nominated by the Chief Justice.
The State Finance Minister Chandrima Bhattacharya further stated on Monday that the West Bengal Taxation Tribunal Act, 1987 was amended so as to expand the scope of selection of Technical Members since the existing criteria for eligibility for the appointment of Technical Member is restrictive and enough applications are not available for selections.
It may be noted that Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar vide his Twitter handle on June 13 had expressed his displeasure at the delay of the State government in notifying the appointment of the new Chairman of the West Bengal Taxation Tribunal- Dr. Justice Sambuddha Chakrabarti, former Judge of the Calcutta High Court.
May 12, appointment of Dr.Justice Sambuddha Chakrabarti, as Chairman, WB Taxation Tribunal by WB Guv Shri Jagdeep Dhankhar in consultation with Hon’ble CJ Prakash Shrivastava yet to be notified in spite of caution to CS @chief_west. He will face consequences for this audacity. https://t.co/btpH9LHlGl
— Governor West Bengal Jagdeep Dhankhar (@jdhankhar1) June 13, 2022
Furthermore, the State government apprised the Calcutta High Court on Monday that the selection process for the appointment of a technical member to the West Bengal Taxation Tribunal has been completed and that the name of the appointee has been forwarded to the Governor for his consideration. The High Court was informed by Advocate General S.N Mookherjee that the Government of West Bengal vide notification dated June 18, 2022, had notified the appointment of the new Chairman.
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