245BA. (1) Subject to the other provisions of this Chapter, the jurisdiction, powers and authority of the Settlement Commission may be exercised by Benches thereof.
(2) Subject to the other provisions of this section, a Bench shall be presided over by the Chairman or a Vice-Chairman and shall consist of two other Members.
(3) The Bench for which the Chairman is the Presiding Officer shall be the principal Bench and the other Benches shall be known as additional Benches.
(4) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-sections (1) and (2), the Chairman may authorise the Vice-Chairman or other Member appointed to one Bench to discharge also the functions of the Vice-Chairman or, as the case may be, other Member of another Bench.
(5) Notwithstanding anything contained in the foregoing provisions of this section, and subject to any rules that may be made in this behalf, when one of the persons constituting a Bench (whether such person be the Presiding Officer or other Member of the Bench) is unable to discharge his functions owing to absence, illness or any other cause or in the event of the occurrence of any vacancy either in the office of the Presiding Officer or in the office of one or the other Members of the Bench, the remaining two persons may function as the Bench and if the Presiding Officer of the Bench is not one of the remaining two persons, the senior among the remaining persons shall act as the Presiding Officer of the Bench :
Provided that if at any stage of the hearing of any such case or matter, it appears to the Presiding Officer that the case or matter is of such a nature that it ought to be heard of by a Bench consisting of three Members, the case or matter may be referred by the Presiding Officer of such Bench to the Chairman for transfer to such Bench as the Chairman may deem fit.
(5A) Notwithstanding anything contained in the foregoing provisions of this section, the Chairman may, for the disposal of any particular case, constitute a Special Bench consisting of more than three Members.
(6) Subject to the other provisions of this Chapter, the places at which the principal Bench and the additional Benches shall ordinarily sit shall be such as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify and the Special Bench shall sit at a place to be fixed by the Chairman.
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