The Debt Recovery Tribunal – 2 (DRT-2), Ernakulam has not been functioning for the past one week after the Kerala High Court on March 23, 2021 allowed a plea which had challenged a Government of India notification conferring additional charge of DRT-2 Ernakulam to the Presiding Officer of DRT-2, Bengaluru.
The notification dated January 4, 2021 granted additional charge of DRTs in various cities where vacancies arose to Presiding Officers of DRTs in other States for a period of 6 months.
The charge of DRT-2 Ernakulam went to SV Gowramma, the presiding officer of DRT-2, Bengaluru.
This was challenged before the Kerala High Court by Kerala Fashion Jewellery.
It was contended by the petitioner that despite the availability of DRT at Ernakulam, the Central government entrusted its charge to DRT-2 Bengaluru. The same, it was argued, was without jurisdiction.
A single judge of AM Badar dismissed the petition on February 5, 2021.
The judge adverted to sub-section 2 of Section 4 of the Debts and Bankruptcy Act to hold that the Central government can entrust the charge of one DRT to another DRT.
On appeal, the Division Bench headed by Chief Justice S Manikumar overturned the verdict and allowed the plea.
This has meant that DRT-2 is currently not hearing cases.
A plea has already been moved before Kerala High Court by an aggrieved litigant pointing this out and seeking interim relief till DRT-2 becomes functional.