Delhi HC to make a decision on issue of key tribunal’s chair – india news



The Delhi high court on Wednesday said it is going to inspect the issue related to a non-judicial member currently presiding over the charge of Acting Chairman of country’s only and an important appellate tribunal dealing with the seizure and attachment of properties under money laundering Act, Smugglers and Foreign Exchange Manipulators Act (SAFEMA) and Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.

Relying upon a Hindustan Times outline from final week, the authority of current acting chairman – G C Mishra, who is from Indian Legitimate Services and products and is the only member in the tribunal at the present time, used to be challenged by advocate Vijay Aggarwal on behalf of Echanda Urja Pvt Ltd (EUPL), a company linked to former ICICI Bank managing director Chanda Kochhar’s husband Deepak Kochhar. Aggarwal argued that Mishra, being a non-judicial member, cannot make a decision cases in the absence of a steady Chairman as only a judicial member can take care of legitimate aspects.

HT reported on November 27 that the tribunal used to be headless for the past 14 months, seriously affecting its functioning and Mishra, being an acting chairman, had mostly deferred the appeals filed by individuals and trade entities challenging attachment of their properties by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) or other authorities.

ED approached the tribunal final week challenging a November 6 order by its own adjudicating authority under PMLA for releasing the attachments worth Rs 78 crore belonging to Kochhars. Kochhars sought a stay on hearing ED’s appeal till the matter of an acting chairman is heard.

Justice Navin Chawla, then again, refused to stay the proceedings on ED’s appeal while agreeing to contentions of Extra Solicitor General (ASG) SV Raju who said that a stay would create a havoc in the quite a lot of appeals being heard at the tribunal.

ASG Raju contended that whether a stay were granted other parties would also seek a stay on the cases being heard in the tribunal.

After hearing lengthy arguments, the court said that it does not imagine it fit to interdict in the proceedings (ED’s appeal) pending in the tribunal. The court also issued notice to ED seeking to realize its response and posted the matter for further hearing in February 2021.


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