Courts Update Madras High Court says debt recovery tribunals’ presiding officers...

Madras High Court says debt recovery tribunals’ presiding officers should be vigilant

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Madras Aug 31(ILNS): The Madras High Court recently held that the presiding officer of Debts Recovery Tribunals should be vigilant that matters are taken up chronologically. The Division Bench comprising of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice P.D. Audikesavalu passed this order while hearing a petition filed by the Assistant General Manager, State Bank of India.

The bench stated that the petitions are part of the increasing number of matters where banks and financial institutions complain of the inordinate delay on the part of the specialized forum constituted by law to take up bank claims, to dispose of a matter.

“Despite bank claims being taken out of civil courts with much fanfare in or about 1993, first with an ordinance and thereafter with the Recovery of Debts due to Banks and Financial Institutions Act, 1993, the realization of bank dues was found not to have improved much; whereupon further committees were appointed and reports were sought.”

“There was originally a Tiwari Committee report and thereafter, a first report by the Narasimham Committee and a second report by the Narasimham Committee before the NPA Act, now known as the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2002, came to be promulgated and authority given to secured creditors to proceed against the securities furnished before any adjudication on the debt due could take place,”, the Court noted.

The Court said that that the Debts Recovery Tribunals and the Appellate Tribunals under the 1993 Act, which has now been re-named as the Recovery of Debts and Bankruptcy Act, 1993, and the Act of 2002 have far too many matters than may conveniently be dealt with or disposed of.

“Without going into the reasons proffered, the DRT, Coimbatore is requested to ensure that is disposed of as expeditiously as possible and, preferably, within six months of receipt of a copy of the order.

As far as are concerned, the DRT would do well to ensure that such proceedings are disposed of within the same period of six months from the date of receipt of this order,” the Court said.

“The Presiding Officer of Debts Recovery Tribunals should be vigilant that matters are taken up chronologically. There appears to be a quality in Indian climatic conditions where certain matters tend to disappear from view. Surely the malaise can be adequately addressed by a specialised body, better funded by the Union and obviously instructed by latest technology,” the Court observed while disposing of the petition./ILNS/AP/SNG

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