Nine months on, no ‘room’ for 3rd bench of debts recovery panel

The third DRT was approved by the Union Cabinet in December 2014. The presiding officer for DRT-III Sanjeev Mago was appointed as the presiding officer on February 23.

Written by Swati Mahajan | Chandigarh | Published:November 13, 2016 6:20 am

NINE MONTHS after it was set up, the third bench of the debts recovery Tribunal (DRT-III) is still non-functional as no room has been allotted to it. Due to non-allotment of space for the third tribunal, the six persons working with the tribunal are sitting idle as well.

Former president of DRT Bar Association I P Singh said, “The government has not yet issued a notification for allotment of space for DRT-III and is sitting on the file. The DRT-I is presently holding its court in a SCO in Sector 8 while DRT-II is functioning from Sector 17 but the third tribunal is still awaiting allotment of space. There are at least five-six employees working with the tribunal who must have drawn salaries worth lakhs in the past nine months for doing no work.”

Amit Rishi, president, DRT Bar Association said, “Sanjeev Mago was appointed as the presiding officer of DRT-III, Chandigarh, but is presently sitting idle as the finance ministry is yet to notify the jurisdiction. Also, no space has been provided to them.”

Meanwhile, the DRT Bar Association has filed a Special Leave Petition (SLP) in the Supreme Court to ensure proper space is allotted to the DRTs. The case is coming up for hearing on November 28 and the apex court is expected to give directions for allotment of a plot for the DRTs. The third tribunal was started for expeditious adjudication and quick recovery of debts, however, the tribunal is yet to take up a single case. The two tribunals that is DRT-I and DRT-II are presently operational. The DRT-I is taking up petitions pertaining to Punjab and DRT-II is taking up petition pertaining to Haryana, Chandigarh and Himachal Pradesh (HP).

The third DRT was approved by the Union Cabinet in December 2014. The presiding officer for DRT-III Sanjeev Mago was appointed as the presiding officer on February 23. The tribunal was started to reduce the burden on the two DRTs.

The pendency in the DRTs, which takes up cases from Chandigarh, Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, is also high. Presently, there are 9,267 cases pending before the three tribunals of which 3,915 cases pending before DRT-I 5,352 cases are pending before DRT-II. When presiding officer Sanjeev Mago was contacted, he declined to comment on  the matter.