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1. Issue notice of this application as above.
2. Learned senior standing counsel (Central) accepts notice on behalf of all the opposite parties.
3. This is an application praying for stay of operation of the impugned National Tax Tribunal Ordinance, 2003.
4. Dr. Pal, learned counsel for the petitioners, submits that when on October 16, 2003, this Ordinance was issued Parliament was not sitting. However, the monsoon session of Parliament was concluded in the month of August, 2003. The winter session of Parliament is also due to commence on December 3, 2003. In these circumstances, according to him, there was no justification to issue the Ordinance in question under Article 123 of the Constitution of India. Dr. Pal, further contends that there was no material before the President for satisfying himself to take immediate action for promulgation of the Ordinance in question under Article 123 of the Constitution of India. That apart, Dr. Pal further contends that the Ordinance in question was promulgated on October 16, 2003. Till today, no notification has been issued under Section 3 of the said Ordinance establishing the Tribunal nor any infrastructure for its Benches is available today. He further submits that establishment of several Benches as contemplated by the Central Government including necessary infrastructure is not possible within a short time. Due to non-availability of necessary infrastructure, the proposed Tribunals would not be able to commence the normal work. He submits that once a notification is issued under Section 3 of the Ordinance, all pending appeals and references in the High Court will stand transferred to the National Tribunal and in that case various parties in appeals and references that are pending in the High Courts will be seriously prejudiced inasmuch as it will not be possible for such Benches to take up urgent matters so long as sufficient infrastructure is not set up for the Benches.
5. In view of the aforesaid, we direct the opposite parties not to issue any notification as contemplated by or under Section 3 of the said Ordinance till the next date.
6. List this interim application after two weeks.
7. Urgent certified copy of this order be granted as per the rules.
8. A copy of this order be furnished to learned senior standing counsel (Central).