Friday, November 23, 2012

The crisis that SAT is heading towards


On November 1, 2012, this blog had a post on a writ petition relating to the absence of a Presiding Officer in the Securities Appellate Tribunal (“SAT”).   I wrote a piece in the Business Standard in my column on November 12, 2012 about how the SAT needs to be handled with care.

Since then, some more facts have become apparent.  One of the remaining two members of the SAT will retire right after Christmas, which would render the SAT as a dysfunctional one-man tribunal again – a position it was placed in, around January 2009.   It would not be open to the SAT to then conduct any final hearing, and it may only admit appeals and grant interim relief.

Worse, members of the SAT are selected by a committee comprising the Union Finance Secretary, the Reserve Bank of India Governor and the Presiding Officer of the SAT.  The Presiding Officer chairs this committee.  Now, there is no Presiding Officer and therefore, appointment of another member, could itself be rendered difficult, and could lead to litigation in the current environment, where any statutory appointment is prone to being a subject matter of challenge.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

To react quickly (unedited text)>
This is in continuation of the comments posted on the mentioned earlier Post.
Glaringly, there is in sight a very serious crisis situation, and not far ahead. Thanks to the indifferent and recalcitrant attitude of the whole lot of them , -the concerned ministries; that is, ministers-in-charge and their coterie, besides the empowered authorities. There, it seems, can be not even an iota of doubt that is they, they alone, who have been responsible, hence answerable, for such things to keep happening all the time; so much so, in the ultimate analysis, it is the stakeholders , who perforce are confronted with crisis, one after another. From the common good perspective, what is essentially required is nothing but an appropriate plan of action, to be followed on its heels by suitable well designed proactive step(s) to tide over the impending crisis. Instead of leaving scope for any further litigation as dreaded.
May be, to initiate more thoughts, one can readily think of a common sense analogy : Imagine a train which is on the right track and running at its top speed. Its driver all of a sudden comes to notice ahead a rock abutting the track. How best to avert the tragedy/ disastrous consequences faced with – except by the driver applying the hydraulic break to bring the train to a grinding halt, and proceed only after the track is cleared. Despite that entailing certain inconvenience, or repercussions,; which, in comparison, could not but be far less serious.
(may be continued)
vswami