Mumbai High Court asks Finance Ministry to enhance DRT infrastructure


MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court (HC) has asked the ministry of finance to add more resources and enhance the infrastructure of the Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) to help expedite cases stuck at the agency.

The court order came on a plea filed by International Asset Reconstruction (IARC) and Kotak Mahindra Bank, where the petitioners were seeking the court’s intervention to expedite cases stuck for a long time.

“It is useless to talk about the stress in the realty sector because of stress in the financial institution…” observed the division bench of Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Bharati Dangre.


“It is useless to tell the citizens that if the realty sector and the infrastructure development sector grow, industries which supply raw material would prosper and in turn the economy would grow.”

The order said that money of financial institutions is stuck before various agencies where adjudications have not taken place due to lack of manpower and infrastructure. The court passed the remark while hearing two separate cases filed by International Asset Reconstruction as well as Kotak Mahindra Bank, direct the DRT to expedite the cases. The case filed by the International Asset Reconstruction is pending since 1999 in the DRT, while Kotak Bank’s cases are pending since 2012 and 2016, respectively.

“…Original application of 2012 and 2016 are simply meandering in the corridors of the Debt Recovery Tribunal. Interim application filed therein is not being taken up for consideration,” the court said in its order of February 11.

“The prayers made in the two petitions are to direct respondent no 2 (Ministry of Finance, Department of financial services) and 3 (undersecretary to the Government of India) to issue necessary directions to the DRT.”

According to Ashish Pyasi, Associate Partner, Dhir & Dhir Associates, in recent years, the DRTs are barely able to function because of lack of infrastructure.

“Such is the state of affairs that several lawyers practising in DRTs are also taking to new practice areas,” Pyasi said.

Law firm V Deshpande & Co, along with advocate Rohit Gupta, appeared for Kotak Mahindra Bank in the case, while the ministry and undersecretary were being represented by advocates Rui Rodrigues and Mohamedali Chunawala.

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