Wednesday, August 20, 2014

DRT II Chennai :Judge Challenges Finance Ministry"s DRT Hire

Indian Express :Gokul Vannan :20 Aug 14
MADURAI: A division bench of the Madras High Court would on Thursday resume hearing on a petition filed by a lower court judge challenging a decision of the Union Finance Ministry not to appoint him as presiding officer of the Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT –II) in Chennai despite his name being cleared by the Selection Committee.
The petitioner, V Sivasubramanian, who is presently the Third Additional District Judge in Coimbatore, had submitted that in October 2013 a Selection Committee headed by then Supreme Court judge Justice R M Lodha (now Chief Justice of India), had interviewed him for the post of presiding officer of DRT.
 The vacancies for the post were to arise at the DRTs in Ahmadabad, Coimbatore, Chennai, Ernakulam and Mumbai in March 2014.
On November 26 last year, he was intimated by the Union Finance Ministry that the Selection Committee had recommended his name for posting as presiding officer at the DRT-II in Chennai. 
The Madras High Court Registrar General had also obtained his willingness to take up the post and submitted the same to the Finance Ministry.
The Registrar General further said that on receipt of the appointment order Sivasubramanian would be relived from his additional district judgeship to facilitate him to take charge as head of the DRT-II, Chennai.
However, subsequently, he did not receive the appointment letter while other selected candidates had assumed charge in April this year. Later, he learnt that R Ravindra Bose, Additional District Judge –III in Tiruvallur was appointed to the post in May.
Challenging this, Sivasubramanian moved the High Court.
He also sought an interim order restraining Ravindra Bose from functioning as the presiding officer of DRT-II.
When the matter came up for hearing, the Finance Ministry submitted that though the Selection Committee had chosen Sivasubramanian for the post the Appointment Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) had not approved the same.
Sivasubramanian contended that as per Debts Recovery Rules, 1998, the approval of the ACC is not mandatory.
 Hence the ACC has no authority to veto his selection.
 He added that he had not received the ACC’s order rejecting his selection.

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