79. Establishment of Appellate Tribunal.
(1) The Central Government shall, by notification, establish an Appellate Tribunal to
(a) hear and dispose of any appeal from an order of the Adjudicating Officer under sub-section (5) of section 39;
(b) hear and dispose of any appeal from an order of the Authority under sub-section (2) of section 65;
(c) hear and dispose of an application under sub-section (9) of section 66;
(d) hear and dispose of any appeal from an order of the Adjudicating Officer under sub-section (5) of section 74; and
(e) hear and dispose of any appeal from an order of an Adjudicating Officer under sub-section (7) of section 75.
(2) The Appellate Tribunal shall consist of a chairperson and such number of members as may be notified by the Central Government.
(3) The Appellate Tribunal shall be set up at such place or places, as the Central Government may, in consultation with the chairperson of the Appellate Tribunal, notify.
(4) Where, in the opinion of the Central Government, any existing body is competent to discharge the functions of the Appellate Tribunal as envisaged under this Act, then the Central Government may notify such existing body to act as the Appellate Tribunal under this Act.
80. Qualifications, appointment, term, conditions of service of members.
(1) The Central Government may prescribe the qualifications, appointment, term of office, salaries and allowances, resignation, removal and the other terms and conditions of service of the chairperson and any member of the Appellate Tribunal.
(2) Neither the salary and allowances nor the other terms and conditions of service of the chairperson or member of the Appellate Tribunal may be varied to her disadvantage after her appointment.
If, for reason other than temporary absence, any vacancy occurs in the office of the chairperson or a member of the Appellate Tribunal, the Central Government shall appoint another person in accordance with the provisions of this Act and the rules prescribed to fill the vacancy and the proceedings may be continued before the Appellate Tribunal from the stage at which the vacancy is filled.
82. Staff of Appellate Tribunal.
(1) The Central Government shall provide the Appellate Tribunal with such officers and employees as it may deem fit.
(2) The officers and employees of the Appellate Tribunal shall discharge their functions under the general superintendence of its chairperson.
(3) The salaries and allowances and other conditions of service of such officers and employees of the Appellate Tribunal shall be such as may be prescribed.
83. Distribution of business amongst benches.
(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the jurisdiction of the Appellate Tribunal may be exercised by benches thereof, which shall be constituted by the chairperson.
(2) Where benches of the Appellate Tribunal are constituted under sub-section (1), the chairperson may, from time to time, by notification, make provisions as to the distribution of the business of the Appellate Tribunal amongst the benches, transfer of members between benches, and also provide for the matters which may be dealt with by each bench.
(3) On the application of any of the parties and after notice to the parties, and after hearing such of them as the chairperson may desire to be heard, or on the chairperson‟s own motion without such notice, the chairperson of the Appellate Tribunal may transfer any case pending before one bench, for disposal, to any other bench.
84. Appeals to Appellate Tribunal.
(1) Any person may file an appeal or application, as the case may be, with the Appellate Tribunal in such form, verified in such manner and be accompanied by such fee, as may be prescribed.
(2) Any appeal or application to the Appellate Tribunal, as the case may be shall be preferred within a period of thirty days from the date on which a copy of the decision or order made by the Authority or the Adjudicating Officer, as the case may be, is received by the appellant or applicant and it shall be in such form, verified in such manner and be accompanied by such fee as may be prescribed.
(3) Notwithstanding sub-section (2), the Appellate Tribunal may entertain any appeal or application, as the case may be, after the expiry of the said period of thirty days if it is satisfied that there was sufficient cause for not filing it within that period.
(4) On receipt of an appeal or application, as the case may be, under this section, the Appellate Tribunal may, after providing the parties to the dispute or appeal, an opportunity of being heard, pass such orders thereon as it thinks fit.
(5) The Appellate Tribunal shall send a copy of every order made by it to the parties to the dispute or the appeal and to the Authority, as the case may be.
(6) The Appellate Tribunal may, for the purpose of examining the legality or propriety or correctness, of any decision, or order of the Authority or Adjudicating Officer referred to in the appeal or application preferred under this section, on its own motion or otherwise, call for the records relevant to disposing of such appeal or application and make such orders as it thinks fit.
85. Procedure and powers of Appellate Tribunal.
(1) The Appellate Tribunal shall not be bound by the procedure laid down by the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908), but shall be guided by the principles of natural justice and, subject to the other provisions of this Act, the Appellate Tribunal shall have powers to regulate its own procedure.
(2) The Appellate Tribunal shall have, for the purposes of discharging its functions under this Act, the same powers as are vested in a civil court under the Code of Civil Procedure,1908 (5 of 1908), while trying a suit, in respect of the following matters, namely
(a) summoning and enforcing the attendance of any person and examining her on oath; (b) requiring the discovery and production of documents;
(c) receiving evidence on affidavits;
(d) subject to the provisions of section 123 and section 124 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 (1 of 1872), requisitioning any public record or document or a copy of such record or document, from any office;
(e) issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses or documents; (f) reviewing its decisions;
(g) dismissing an application for default or deciding it, ex parte;
(h) setting aside any order of dismissal of any application for default or any order passed by it, ex parte; and
(i) any other matter which may be prescribed.
(3) Every proceeding before the Appellate Tribunal shall be deemed to be a judicial proceeding within the meaning of sections 193 and 228, and for the purposes of section 196 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (45 of 1860) and the Appellate Tribunal shall be deemed to be a civil court for the purposes of section 195 and Chapter XXVI of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974).
86. Orders passed by Appellate Tribunal to be executable as a decree.
(1) An order passed by the Appellate Tribunal under this Act shall be executable by the Appellate Tribunal as a decree of civil court, and for this purpose, the Appellate Tribunal shall have all the powers of a civil court.
(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), the Appellate Tribunal may transmit any order made by it to a civil court having local jurisdiction and such civil court shall execute the order as if it were a decree made by that court.
87. Appeal to Supreme Court of India.
(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908) or in any other law, an appeal shall lie against any order of the Appellate Tribunal to the Supreme Court of India.
(2) No appeal shall lie against any decision or order made by the Appellate Tribunal with the consent of the parties.
(3) Every appeal under this section shall be preferred within a period of ninety days from the date of the decision or order appealed against.
(4) Notwithstanding sub-section (3), the Supreme Court of India may entertain the appeal after the expiry of the said period of ninety days, if it is satisfied that the appellant was prevented by sufficient cause from preferring the appeal in time.
88. Right to legal representation.
The applicant or appellant may either appear in person or authorise one or more legal practitioners or any of its officers to present her or its case before the Appellate Tribunal.
Explanation.- For the purposes of this section, legal practitioner" includes an advocate, or an attorney and includes a pleader in practice.
89. Civil court not to have jurisdiction.
No civil court shall have jurisdiction to entertain any suit or proceeding in respect of any matter which the Appellate Tribunal is empowered by or under this Act to determine and no injunction shall be granted by any court or other authority in respect of any action taken or to be taken in pursuance of any power conferred by or under this Act.