73. Appellate Tribunal.- (1) The Government shall, as soon as may be after the commencement of this Act, constitute an Appellate Tribunal consisting of one or more members, as it thinks fit, to exercise the powers and discharge the functions conferred on the Appellate Tribunal by or under this Act:
PROVIDED that where the Appellate Tribunal consists of one member, that member shall be a person who has held a civil judicial post for at least ten years or who has been a member of the Indian Legal Service (not below Grade III) for at least three years or who has been in practice as an advocate for at least ten years, and where the Appellate Tribunal consists of more than one member, one such member shall be a person qualified as aforesaid.
(2) Where the number of members of the Appellate Tribunal is more than one, the Government shall appoint one of those members to be the Chairperson of the Appellate Tribunal.
(3) Subject to the provisions of sub-section (1) of this section, the qualifications and other conditions of service of the member or members constituting the Appellate Tribunal and the period for which such member or members shall hold office, shall be such as may be determined by the Government.
(4) Any vacancy in the membership of the Appellate Tribunal shall be filled up by the Government as soon as practicable.
(5) Where the number of members of the Appellate Tribunal is more than one and if the members differ in opinion on any point, the point shall be decided according to the opinion of the majority, if there is a majority, but if the members are equally divided, the decision of the Chairperson of the Appellate Tribunal thereon shall be final.
(6) Subject to the previous sanction of the Government, the Appellate Tribunal shall, for the purpose of regulating its procedure and disposal of its business, make regulations consistent with the provisions of this Act and the rules made there-under.
(7) The regulations made under sub-section (6) shall be published in the official Gazette.
(8) The Appellate Tribunal shall, for the purpose of discharging its functions, have all the powers which are vested in the Commissioner under section 75 of this Act and any 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 all the purposes of section 195 and Chapter XXVI of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974).