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HC issues notices to Centre over Debt Recovery Tribunal rule

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By Our Staff Reporter
Dehradun, 6 Aug: The Uttarakhand High Court today issued notices to the Centre on a petition filed by Tasnim Ayesha over change in rules regarding appointments to the Debt Recovery Tribunal. Similar petitions have been filed in various High Courts by different persons opposing a recent change in rules in respect of appointments to the Tribunal. The petition in Uttarakhand High Court was filed by Tasnim Ayesha through her lawyer Advocate Rohit Dhyani challenging Clause 8 of the Schedule framed under Rule 3 & 4 of the Tribunal, Appellate Tribunal and other Authorities (Qualification, Experience and other Conditions of Service of Members) Rules, 2020 as notified by the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance vide Gazette Notification 2020/MAGHA 23, 1941 dated 12.02.2020 and the advertisement no: F.No. 7/3/3030-DRT dated 23.06.2020 issued by the Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance, Government of India.
The petitioner has contended that as per the earlier rules, judges as well as senior advocates were eligible to apply for the post of Presiding Officer of Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) but the order dated 12 February 2020 has reserved the post only for the judges in violation of Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution of India.
She has further argued that she was aspiring to apply for the said post as according to the earlier rules, senior lawyers were also eligible for the post. The earlier rule as per the Section 5 of the Recovery of Debts Due to Banks and Financial Institutions Act 1993 states that a person shall not be qualified for appointment as the Presiding Officer of a Tribunal unless he is, or has been, or is qualified to be, a District Judge.” Whereas the new rule states that a person shall not be qualified for appointment as the Presiding Officer of a Tribunal unless he is, or has been, or is a District Judge. The petitioner has further argued that the amended rule is in violation of the rights of advocates as envisaged under Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution.
Hearing the case today argued by Advocate Rohit Dhyani on behalf of Tasnim Ayesha, the Division Bench of the Uttarakhand High Court has directed the Government of India to file a counter.