The Bombay High Court on Tuesday came down heavily upon the central government for failing to provide adequate infrastructure and manpower to the Debt Recovery Tribunals in the state of Maharashtra.
The division bench comprising Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Bharati Dangre noted that due to such debilitate infrastructure, disposal of cases had been affected severely, and cases were simply "meandering in the corridors of the Debt Recovery Tribunals."
"The two Writ Petitions should actually be placed before the Union Minister of Finance inasmuch as they tell a tale which the Hon'ble Minister, Union of India should hear.
The court went on to state that the reason for delay in disposal of cases is:
- Not appointing the Presiding Officers of the three DRTs in Mumbai;
- Not appointing Presiding Officers of DRTs in other cities of the State, resulting in administrative orders passed requiring DRT, Mumbai to handle the work;
- Not appointing adequate staff to DRTs;
- Not providing adequate space to DRT;
- Not augmenting the number of DRTs on account of increase in the workload.
In these circumstances, the bench remarked,
"It is useless to allocate resources to the financial institutions…It is useless to talk about giving an impetus to the economy by reviving the realty sector… It is useless to tell the citizens that if the realty sector and the infrastructure development sector grow, industries which supply raw material would prosper and in turn the economy would grow."
This, when the court was hearing a plea filed by International Asset Reconstruction (IARC) and Kotak Mahindra Bank, seeking high court's intervention to expedite cases "stuck" before the Tribunal for a long time.
In these circumstances, the court has asked the Union Ministry of Finance to add more resources and enhance the infrastructure of the DRT to help expedite cases stuck at the agency.
"…Original application of 2012 and 2016 are simply meandering in the corridors of the Debt Recovery Tribunal. Interim application filed therein is not being taken up for consideration," the court noted.
Case Title: Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd. v. DRT, Mumbai
Case No.: WP No. 386/2020
Quorum: Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Bharati Dangre
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