SC pulls up Centre for defunct status & vacancies in tribunals
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday called upon the Solicitor General Tushar Mehta & Additional Solicitor General Atmaram Nadkarni prior to the lunch hour in order to acquaint the Bench regarding the issue of ineffectiveness of working of Tribunals across the country at 2 pm.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta & ASG A Nadkarni apprised the bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and D Maheshwari and sought time till March 16, 2020 regarding the issue of vacancies in various tribunals including the Debt Recovery Tribunals (DRT) and their defunct statuses.
"This is not about only the DRT, its about many others, such as the Armed Forces Tribunals. This is a larger issue. How to address the economic issues? What to do when the DRT is defunct? Where will the litigants go?" asked Justice Khanwilkar.
The issue came up in light of dismissal of a Writ Petition on January 7, 2020, noting that appropriate remedy was available before the Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT).
However, when the Petitioner approached DRT at Nagpur, it was found that the said tribunal was defunct. In light of this, the Petitioner filed an appropriate application, seeking directions from the Court.
Subsequently, allowing the said application, bench granted liberty to the petitioner to approach the Debt Recovery Appellate Tribunal (DRAT) on February 2020. Moreover, the order stated that no coercive measures should be taken against the Petitioner in this regard for a period extending two weeks.
Notably, when the petitioner approached the DRAT, it was found that the DRAT at Nagpur was non operational till 1st April 2020.
Apropos today, the bench took up an application seeking extension of stay for curbing coercive steps.
After Advocate Renuka Sahu sought an extension of non-coercive orders towards her client from the Bench in light of the inoperative Tribunal, the Bench pulled up the State regarding inadequacies in working of Tribunals across the country.