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Centre Clears Appointments To National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) & Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT)

Sparsh Upadhyay
11 Sep 2021 5:27 PM GMT
Centre Clears Appointments To National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) & Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT)
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Days after the Supreme Court pulled up the Central Government over posts lying vacant in the tribunals, the Central government today cleared the appointment of judicial and technical members to the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) and the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) Issuing a notification, the Centre has approved the proposal for the appointment of a total of 18 members to...

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Days after the Supreme Court pulled up the Central Government over posts lying vacant in the tribunals, the Central government today cleared the appointment of judicial and technical members to the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) and the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) 

Issuing a notification, the Centre has approved the proposal for the appointment of a total of 18 members to the NCLT, comprising 8 judicial members and 10 technical members.

Those who have been appointed as the judicial members are:

  • Justice Telaprolu Rajani, Judge, Andhra Pradesh High Court
  • Justice Pradeep Narhari Deshmukh, Retd. Judge Bombay High Court
  • Justice S. Ramathilagam, Retd. Madras High Court judge
  • Dharminder Singh Presiding Officer, DRT-3, Delhi
  • Harnam Singh Thakur, Retd. Registrar General, Punjab and Haryana High Court
  • P. Mohan Raj, Retd. District Judge, Salem, Tamil Nadu
  • Rohit Kapoor, Advocate
  • Deep Chandra Joshi, District Court Judge

Their appointment would be valid for a period of five years or till the members attain the age of sixty-five years, whichever is earlier.

On the other hand, in the ITAT, 13 new appointments have been made, comprising 6 judicial members and 7 accountant members

Those who have been appointed as the judicial members are:

  • Sonjoy Sharma, Advocate
  • S. Seethalakshmi, Advocate
  • Shatin Goyal, Additional District and Sessions Judge
  • Anubhav Sharma, Additional District and Sessions Judge
  • T. R. Senthil Kumar, Advocate
  • Manomohan Das, Law officer, SBI

While the 4 judicial members are coming from the un-reserved category, 1 each from the Other Backward Class (OBC) category and Scheduled Caste (SC) category have also been appointed as judicial members

Their appointment would be valid for a period of four years or till they attain the age of sixty-seven years, whichever is earlier.

While stressing on the need to make appointments to the unfilled vacancies in Tribunals across the Country, the Supreme Court on Monday had pulled up the Central Government over its inaction to fill up vacancies in various tribunals across the country,

The Court had even remarked that the Centre had enacted the Tribunals Reforms Act, 2021 in violation of its judgments.

"Pass Another Legislation If They Pass A Judgment"-Some Bureaucrats Might Be There To Advise The Govt. For It-SC in Tribunal Matter -Full Courtroom Exchange

The Centre on Monday told the Supreme Court that the new law, the 2021 Tribunals Reforms Act, "has made the way for filling up vacancies in the tribunals", and as the first step, it will act on cases where the search cum selection committee has given the recommendations but a decision on appointments has not been taken.

"The government will ensure that within the next two weeks, a decision on appointments to all the tribunals, where the aforesaid committee has already given the recommendation to the government, is taken", told SG Tushar Mehta, quoting from a letter addressed to him from the Ministry of Finance.
The letter also conveyed that Rules under the new Tribunal Reforms Act are in the process of being finalized and will be notified immediately.

On Monday, Chief Justice N. V. Ramana had initially refused to adjourn the matter on the request of the SG that it is AG K. K. Venugopal who is conversant in the facts of the case right from its inception and that AG has some personal difficulty for a couple of days. "No, sorry. Last time, we made it very clear. We have set up a special bench, disturbing 2 other benches. We have earlier heard these matters and passed detailed judgments. There is no respect for the judgements of this court, that is what we are feeling! There is testing the patience of the court! Last time, you made a statement that you have appointed some persons? How many people have you appointed?", asked the CJ.

The CJ had further commented thus, "They are bent upon not respecting the judgment of the court. This much is very clear. We have only three options left now – one is staying the legislation or whatever the Act that you have made and directing you to go ahead with the appointments, or close down the tribunals and give the powers to the High Court to take up the matters, and third is we ourselves will appoint the people. We could consider initiating proceedings for contempt of court!"

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