The Centre has told the Supreme Court that it has made 84 appointments in six tribunals including ITAT and NCLT and no recommendations of the Search cum Selection Committees (SCSC) is pending with it presently.

The assertions made by the Centre, in its affidavit filed on September 14, assumes significance in view of the fact that the top court on Wednesday expressed strong displeasure over non-filling of vacancies at the tribunals and on “cherry picking” of names in some of the appointments made recently after being nudged.

A special bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana asked the Centre to fill up vacancies in next two weeks with an assurance that since then it was holding its hands on pleas seeking initiation of contempt and filling up of posts.

The affidavit, filed through Arvind Saran, Director of Revenue, said, “as on date, the Central government has acted upon all the recommendations made by the SCSC and appointment orders have been issued…”.

The Centre also gave the chart giving the details of appointments made in Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT), National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), Telecom Disputes and Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT), National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC), Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (APTEL) and Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT).

“In all a total of 84 appointments were made to various tribunals during the years 2020 and 2021,”the affidavit said.

The affidavit first referred to the recommendations and appointments made in the National Company Law Tribunal by the Centre.

The SCSC recommended 11 Judicial members and 10 technical members and the Centre has appointed 8 judicial members and 10 technical members, it said.

So far as the TDSAT is concerned, the SCSC made recommendations against two vacancies and the Centre appointed one member, it said.

In ITAT, the committee recommended names of 16 judicial and 12 accountant members and the Centre has appointed six judicial and seven accountant members, it added.

In NCDRC, the SCSC has recommended four judicial and two technical members and out of them, two judicial and two technical members have been appointed, the affidavit said.

Likewise in APTEL one technical member, as recommended by the SCSC, has been appointed, the affidavit said, adding that in the AFT, Centre appointed 6 judicial members and five administrative members were appointed earlier.

For the remaining vacancies, the affidavit said that the SCSCs will have to make fresh recommendations.

As per the August 5 data of the apex court, there were 19 vacant posts of presiding officers followed by 110 and 111 unfilled positions of judicial and technical members respectively in fifteen types of quasi-judicial bodies ranging from Debt Recovery Tribunals to National Company Law Tribunals in the country.

As per the records, in Debt Recovery Tribunals (DRTs), which were set up to recover bad loans of banks, there are 15 posts of Presiding officers vacant in the country and its appellate body, DRAT, does not have the Chairperson in Calcutta branch.

The Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) has one vacant post for a technical member, it had said, adding the Appellate Tribunal for Forfeited Property (ATFP) does not have the chairperson and one technical member.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.

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