Debt recovery appellate tribunal

From Justice Definitions Project

What is

Debt Recovery Appellate Tribunals (DRATs) are quasi-judicial bodies that were established by the Central government under the Banks and Financial Institutions (RDDBFI) Act, 1993.[1] These serve as the appellate body supervising Debt Recovery Tribunals across the country.

As of February 2024, there are 5 Debt Recovery Appellate Tribunals (DRATs) established in India.[2]

An appeal to the order of a Debt Recovery Tribunal may lie to the appellate tribunal i.e, the DRAT by the aggrieved person within period of 30 days from date on which the copy of order made by the DRT is received by borrower.[3] Such appeal shall only be entertained on the submission of 50% of amount of the debt by the borrower which can be reduced to 25% by the tribunal but cannot be waived.

Legislative Framework

Organizational structure

A DRAT consists of a three-tier organization, presided over by the Chairperson, followed by the Registrar, and finally the Section Officer.[4]

Provisions relating to Members

  • Appointment: Tribunal members are appointed by the Central Government by notification.[5]
    • The Debts Recovery Tribunal (Procedure for Appointment as Presiding Officer of the Tribunal) Rules, 1998[6] requires all appointments to be made through a committee consisting of the chief justice of India, three secretaries of the government of India (finance, law, and the department of financial services) and a representative of the governor of the Reserve Bank of India.
  • Qualification: A tribunal member must
    • have been or qualified to be, a Judge of a High Court; or
    • have been a member of the Indian Legal Service and have held a post in Grade I of that service for at least three years; or
    • have held office as the Presiding Officer of a Tribunal for at least three years[7]
  • Tenure: 5 years from the date of assuming office, or until the attainment of 65 years of age, whichever is earlier.[8]
  • Salaries/Allowances: To be prescribed by the government.[9]
  • Vacancies: To be filled by Central government by notification.[10]
  • Removal: By notice in writing. They can also be removed on the ground of proven misbehaviour or incapacity by the Central government, after an inquiry made by the Supreme Court.[11]

Distribution of Benches

Currently, the distribution of DRATs is as follows:[12]

Distribution of DRATs.png
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