What about a booster for the judiciary, Bombay HC asks Centre

Bench expresses ire over vacancies in debt recovery tribunals despite passing of order

The Bombay High Court on Friday expressed its displeasure over vacancies in the judiciary, and asked the Centre: “When does it [the Centre] think it will receive the booster dose for the judiciary?”

A Division Bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice M.S. Karnik was hearing two petitions, seeking a direction to the Centre to appoint a Chairperson for the Debt Recovery Appellate Tribunal (DRAT) in Mumbai.

Thecourt took note ofthe vacancy in the position of the DRAT Chairperson, andin the positions of presiding officers of several Debt Recovery Tribunals (DRTs) across theState, which have been lying vacant for some months now.

The Bench saidit had passeditsfirst such order on filling up the vacancies on December 2, 2021,but the governmenthad taken no step towards it.

The court said, “The DRAT is an important institution for a city like Mumbai, which is the financial capital of the country. If the Union Government wants the country’s economy to get a boost, how can it not fill up the vacancies in the tribunals that are supposed to help banks recover financial dues?”

The court remarked, “We are talking about boosters these days. Booster vaccines, boosters for the economy. We read somewhere that the current budget is a booster for the nation’s economy. But where is the booster for the judiciary?”

The court directed theAdditional Solicitor General appearing for theCentreto submit a note byFebruary 10indicating the road map for filling up the DRAT vacancy.

The Bench told Mr. Singh, “Please convey the concern of the court to your officers. If by next Thursday we do not get a proper picture, we may have to think otherwise. On the one hand, we want to boost the economy, while on the other we are not letting banks recover money.”

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