Set up 3-member Expert Committee to examine issues plaguing Tribunals: SC

NEW DELHI, MAY 16: The Supreme Court today directed the Centre to set up a three-member expert committee to look into the problems plaguing the Tribunals in India.
The Bench of Justice AK Goel and Justice Indu Malhotra had, in the previous order, in this case, had directed the Centre to make recommendations on the issue.
When the Court was initially seized of the matter, it was only considering whether the appointment process and functioning of Debt Recovery Tribunals (DRTs) as provided under the Recovery of Debts and Bankruptcy Act, 1993 are taking place as per its previous decisions. It had then appointed Senior Advocate Arvind Datar as Amicus Curiae to assist the court.
The Court after noting the suggestions made by the Amicus had set out the various issues for consideration. It had also opined that the noted issues may require setting up of a committee preferably of three members.
Today, the Court in continuation of its order of May 7, directed for a three-member expert committee to be set up, although the requirement for the retired judge of having worked in a Tribunal is relaxed in today’s order.
The Court has left it to the Government to constitute this committee within two months and it directed to submit its report within three months from the day it is constituted. Subsequently, the Government is directed to file an affidavit of further developments before the Court by October 31. The Court has granted liberty to the amicus in the case to present any suitable view-points before the committee thus formed.
Additionally, keeping in view that no Tribunal shall remain headless, the Court has also passed an order regarding qualification for appointment to a Tribunal or a Commission. The order states wherever the requirement for appointment to a Tribunal is that of a former Chief Justice or a former Supreme Court judge and no suitable person is available, then a suitable former judge of a High Court can be appointed to the Tribunal. The Court clarified that this order is applicable till a suitable legislative amendment is passed in this regard.
Justice Goel said that the entire judicial report of this committee needs to be holistic and all-encompassing.
The matter is now listed for November 13 to consider whether any further directions are necessary.