Appointments arrive a few days after a Supreme Court bank, headed by Chief Justice NV Ramana, detained the Center for delaying the filling of vacancies in the Courts. He had even warned of contempt proceedings if appointments were not made within a week.
Eager to avoid further confrontations, the government appointed eight judicial members and 10 technical members to the NCLT for five years or until the age of 65. In addition, it has also approved the appointment of four judicial members in ITAT, in addition to two in SC and OBC categories and seven countable.
The eight judicial members appointed to the NCLT are retired high court judges, including judges Telaprolu Rajani of Andhra Pradesh HC, Pradeep Deshmukh of Bombay HC, S Ramathilagam of Madras HC, Harnam Singh, President of DRT, Delhi and Harnam Singh Thakur, Retired Registrar from Punjab & Haryana HC.
With more than half of the 62 sanctioned points of the NCLT vacant, cases have begun to pile up in the court dealing with matters related to bankruptcy, the Corporation Law and the Competition Law. According to the latest data, it now takes almost 600 days to resolve insolvency cases from the moment of admission against the maximum allowed of 270 days by law.
The four judicial members appointed to the ITAT include advocates Sonjoy Sarma, S Seethalakshmi; and additional district and session judges Shatin Goyal and Anubhav Sharma. TR Senthil Kumar, Attorney, has been appointed as Judicial Member in the OBC category, while Manmohan Das, Law Officer, has been appointed in the SC category at ITAT.
In the unreserved category, five chartered accountants have been appointed as accounting members in ITAT.