CHAPTER VIII: PLANT VARIETIES PROTECTION APPELLANTE TRIBUNAL
The Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, establish a Tribunal to be known as the Plant Varieties Protection Appellate Tribunal to exercise the jurisdiction, powers and authority conferred on it by or under this Act.
55. Composition of Tribunal.—
(1) The Tribunal shall consist of a Chairman and such number of Judicial Members and Technical Members as the Central Government may deem fit to appoint.
(2) A Judicial Member shall be a person who has for at least ten years held a judicial office in the territory of India or who has been a member of the Indian Legal Service and has held a post in Grade-II of that Service or any equivalent or higher post for at least three years or who has been an advocate for at
least twelve years.
Explanation.—For the purposes of this sub-section,—
(i) in computing the period during which a person has held judicial office in the territory of India, there shall be included any period, after he has held any judicial office, during which the person has been an advocate or has held the office of a member of a tribunal or any post, under the Union or a State, requiring special knowledge of law;
(ii) in computing the period during which a person has been an advocate, there shall be included any period during which the person has held judicial office or the office of a member of a tribunal or any post, under the Union or a State, requiring special knowledge of law after he became an advocate.
(3) A Technical Member shall be a person who is an eminent agricultural scientist in the field of plant breeding and genetics and possesses an experience of at least twenty years to deal with plant variety or seed development activity, or who has held the post in the Central Government or a State Government dealing with plant variety or seed development equivalent to the Joint Secretary to the Government of India for at least three years and possesses the special knowledge in the field of plant breeding and genetics.
(4) The Central Government shall appoint a Judicial Member of the Tribunal to be the Chairman thereof.
(5) The Central Government may appoint one of the Members of the Tribunal to be the senior Member thereof.
(6) The senior Member or a Member shall exercise such of the powers and perform such of the functions of the Chairman as may be delegated to him by the Chairman by a general or special order in writing.
56. Appeals to Tribunal.—
(1) An appeal shall be preferred to the Tribunal within the prescribed period from any—
(a) order or decision of the Authority or Registrar, relating to registration of a variety; or
(b) order or decision of the Registrar relating to registration as an agent or a licensee of a variety; or
(c) order or decision of the Authority relating to claim for benefit sharing; or
(d) order or decision of the Authority regarding revocation of compulsory licence or modification of compulsory licence; or
(e) order or decision of the Authority regarding payment of compensation, made under this Act or rules made thereunder.
(2) Every such appeal shall be preferred by a petition in writing and shall be in such form and shall contain such particulars as may be prescribed.
(3) The Tribunal in disposing of an appeal under this section shall have the power to make any order which the Authority or the Registrar could make under this Act.
57. Orders of Tribunal.—
(1) The Tribunal may, after giving both the parties to the appeal an opportunity of being heard, pass such orders thereon as it thinks fit.
(2) The Tribunal may, at any time within thirty days from the date of the order, with a view to rectifying the mistake apparent from the record, amend any order passed by it under sub-section (1), and make such amendment if the mistake is brought to its notice by the appellant or the opposite party.
(3) In every appeal, the Tribunal may, where it is possible, hear and decide such appeal within a period of one year from the date of filing of the appeal.
(4) The Tribunal shall send a copy of any order passed under this section to the Registrar.
(5) The orders of the Tribunal under this Act shall be executable as a decree of a civil court.
58. Procedure of Tribunal.—
(1) The powers and functions of the Tribunal may be exercised and discharged by Benches constituted by the Chairman of the Tribunal from among the Members thereof.
(2) A Bench shall consist of one Judicial Member and one Technical Member.
(3) If the Members of a Bench differ in opinion on any point, they shall state the point or points on which they differ, and the case shall be referred to the Chairman for hearing on such point or points by one or more of the other Members and such point or points shall be decided according to the opinion of
the majority of the Members who have heard the case, including those who first heard it.
(4) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Tribunal shall have power to regulate its own procedure and the procedure of Benches thereof in all matters arising out of the exercise of its powers or the discharge of its functions, including the places at which the Benches shall holding their sittings.
(5) The Tribunal shall, for the purpose of discharging its functions, have all the powers which are vested in the Registrar under section 11, and any proceeding before the Tribunal shall be deemed to be a judicial proceeding within the measuring of sections 193 and 228 and for the purposes of section 196 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860), and the Tribunal shall be deemed to be a civil court for all the purposes of section 195 and Chapter XXVI of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974).
(6) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other provisions of this Act or in any other law for the time being in force, no interim order (whether by way of injunction or stay or any other manner) shall be made on, or in, any proceedings relating to an appeal unless—
(a) copies of such appeal and of all documents in support of the plea for such interim order are furnished to the party against whom such appeal is made or proposed to be made; and
(b) opportunity is given to such party to be heard in the matter.
59. Transitional provision.—
Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, till the establishment of the Tribunal under section 54, the Intellectual Property Appellate Board established under section 83 of the Trade Marks Act, 1999 (47 of 1999) shall exercise the jurisdiction, powers and authority conferred on the Tribunal under this Act subject to the modification that in any Bench of such Intellectual Property Appellate Board constituted for the purposes of this section, for the Technical Member referred to in sub-section (2) of section 84 of the Trade Marks Act, the Technical Member shall be appointed under this Act and he shall be deemed to be the Technical Member for constituting the Bench under the saidsub-sectio n (2) of section 84 for the purposes of this Act.
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