Centre appoints 31 members to NCLT, ITAT

Earlier, SC had flagged concerns over vacancies in various tribunals

The government has appointed 31 people as judicial, technical and accountant members at the NCLT and the ITAT, amid the Supreme Court flagging concerns about vacancies in various tribunals.

The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) deals with matters mainly related to companies law and the insolvency law while the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) deals with income tax matters.

The appointments also come at a time when the Supreme Court has flagged concerns, saying the Centre was “emasculating” tribunals by not appointing officials to the quasi-judicial bodies that are facing staff crunch.

250 vacant posts

There are around 250 posts lying vacant at various key tribunals and appellate tribunals such as NCLT, DRT, TDSAT and SAT.

As many as eight judicial and 10 technical members have been appointed to the NCLT while 13 judicial and seven accountant members have been appointed to the ITAT, according to separate communications issued by the Department of Personnel and Training on September 11 based on decisions taken by the Appointments Committee of Cabinet.

Andhra Prdesh High Court Judge Justice Telaprolu Rajani, Bombay High Court retired judge Justice Pradeep Narhari Deshmukh, Madras High Court retired judge Justice S. Ramathilagam and District Court judge Deep Chandra Joshi are among those appointed as the judicial members to the NCLT.

Others are DRT-3, Delhi, Presiding Officer Dharminder Singh, Punjab and Haryana High Court retired Registrar General Harnam Singh Thakur, Principal District Court, Salem (Tamil Nadu) retired district court judge P. Mohan Raj and advocate Rohit Kapoor.

Technical members

The newly-appointed technical members include Principal Commissioner of Income Tax Ajai Das Mehrotra, retired NHPC Chairman and Managing Director Balraj Joshi, retired Ministry of Panchayati Raj Secretary Rahul Prasad Bhatnagar, retired Principal Director General of Income Tax Subrata Kumar Dash, retired Department of Consumer Affairs Secretary Avinash K Srivastava and retired SBI Chief General Manager Shree Prakash Singh.

Other technical members are chartered accountant Sameer Kakar, retired Director General of Income Tax Manoj Kumar Dubey, Chief Commissioner of Income Tax Kaushalendra Kumar Singh and Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax Anuradha Sanjay Bhatia.

The appointments will be for five years from the date of assumption of charge or till attaining the age of 65 or until further orders.

Six judicial members have been appointed to the ITAT. They are advocates Sonjoy Sarma, S. Seethalakshmi and T.R. Senthil Kumar, and Additional District and Sessions judges Shatin Goyal and Anubhav Sharma, and Law Officer in SBI Manomohan Das.

Accountant members

Besides, there are seven accountant members. They are chartered accountants Bhagirath Mal Biyani, Balakrishnan S, Jamiappa Dattatraya Battuli, Padmavathy S, Arun Khodpia, Rathod Kamlesh Jayantbhai, and Commissioner of Income Tax Ripote Dipak Pandurang.

The appointments in the ITAT were made for a period of four years.

On September 6, the Supreme Court said the Centre was testing its “patience” and “emasculating” tribunals by not appointing officials to the quasi-judicial bodies which are facing severe crunch of presiding officers as well as judicial and technical members and sought action on the matter by September 13.

While asserting that it did not want any confrontation with the government, a Special Bench led by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana asked the Centre to make some appointments to the tribunals before September 13.

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