Madras HC allows Advocates for the post of DRT presiding officer

By Weindrila Sen-

By order dated 31.07.2020, Madras High Court has allowed lawyers to apply for the post of Presiding Officer of the Debt Recovery Tribunal. On 12.02.2020, the Central Government notified various processes of appointment, rules, and service conditions of statutory Tribunals.

The notice was challenged for the High Court, as it excluded Advocates from applying for the post of Presiding Officer at DRT. The Additional Solicitor General of India was sought to instruct the matter within four weeks from 08.07.2020, keeping in mind the judgment in the case of Roger Mathew vs. South Indian Bank Limited and others, 2019 SCC Online SC 1456, which is relied upon the Apex Court’s judgment of Madras Bar Association vs. Union of India, (2004) 10 SCC Page 1.

The Court has cleared by an interim order dated 09.03.2020, that any selection will be subject to the outcome of the writ petition. To date, no counter affidavit or response is being filed by the respondents. Given the fact, that 3 August 2020 is the last day for receiving the applications, the Court has directed the respondents to accept applications from Advocates claiming them to be eligible for the post. The bench also said-

“The participation of the Advocates so permitted will not create any right in their favour and selection, if any, and the final selections shall not be announced except with the leave of this Court or any other appropriate orders that may be passed in future”.

The Additional Solicitor General of India has been ordered to file the response of both the petitions before the next hearing date. The matter will be heard next on 28.08.2020