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Delhi High Court Seeks Centre's Response On Plea Challenging Provisions For Appointment Of Recovery Officers In Debt Recovery Tribunal

Nupur Thapliyal
11 Sep 2021 12:31 PM GMT
Delhi High Court Seeks Centres Response On Plea Challenging Provisions For Appointment Of Recovery Officers In Debt Recovery Tribunal
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The Delhi High Court on Friday sought response of the Centre on a plea challenging provisions of Recovery of Debts and Bankruptcy Act, 1993 regarding appointment of Recovery Officers in Debt Recovery Tribunal.The plea alleges that the said provisions are ultra vires to the Doctrine of Separation of Powers and Independence of Judiciary, which are an intrinsic part of the Basic Structure of...

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The Delhi High Court on Friday sought response of the Centre on a plea challenging provisions of Recovery of Debts and Bankruptcy Act, 1993 regarding appointment of Recovery Officers in Debt Recovery Tribunal.

The plea alleges that the said provisions are ultra vires to the Doctrine of Separation of Powers and Independence of Judiciary, which are an intrinsic part of the Basic Structure of the Constitution of India.

Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh issued notice on the plea while posting the matter for further hearing on November 8.

The plea moved by Advocate RP Agrawal through Advocates Manisha Agrawal, Priyal Modi and Varun Gupta seeks directions on the Centre for making provisions in the Act for execution of the Recovery Certificates by the presiding Officers only.

Additionally, the petition also seeks amendments in the eligibility criteria for appointment of Recovery Officers with judicial or practice at bar experience only, as also the composition of Selection Board for the post of Recovery Officers with adequate representation from the Judiciary.

During the course of hearing, it was submitted on behalf of the petitioner that the Recovery Officers do not possess legal background thereby being violative of the doctrine of separation of powers.

It was also submitted that such Officers, before their appointment, were simply working in various ministries of Government of India in administrative capacities.

"That almost 17 Recovery Officers do not possess even a degree of law. Most of the Recovery officers have come on deputation from the administrative ministries of the central Government e.g. Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Labour, etc. The office of the petitioner has obtained the information of the Recovery officers, their qualifications, past experience, etc. under RTI Act," the plea reads.

It adds:

"Entrustment of execution to Recovery Officers who do not possess any judicial background or at least the experience of working as Law officers in Banks/Financial Institutions and whose appointments are entirely controlled by the Executive is against the doctrine of separation of powers between the three organs namely Legislature, Executive and Judiciary."

The plea also states that since responsibility of such Recovery Officers is extremely important, if the machinery created for execution of Recovery Certificates is ill-equipped or unqualified, the entire purpose of enactment of Act of 1993 will stand defeated.

With regard to the methodology and procedure for appointment of Recovery officers and their eligibility criteria, it is submitted that the process directly affects the independence of judiciary as the entire control is vested  with the government and the judiciary has been denuded of any role in determining the eligibility criteria of Recovery officers and in the procedure of their appointment/selection.

Title: R.P. Agrawal v. The Union of India

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