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NEW DELHI: With the choice panel headed by Chief Justice of India or his nominee SC Judge unable to discover a successor, the Supreme Court on Thursday ordered continuance of retired SC Judge Shiva Kirti Singh as the chairperson of Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT).
Justice Singh was appointed as chairperson of TDSAT on April 21, 2017 and beneath the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Act, it’s a three 12 months put up. This means, Justice Singh ought to have demitted workplace on April 20, 2020. However, owing to giant vacancies within the put up of members and to avert the likelihood of the apex telecom appellate tribunal being shut down for litigants, the SC has been periodically extending the time period of Justice Singh.
The final such extension was granted by the SC on January 4. The TDSAT chairperson is chosen by a panel headed by CJI or his nominee. Though Justice Singh’s successor ought to have been chosen by the panel a lot previous to April 20 final 12 months for easy transition of workplace to the brand new chairman, the panel has not been in a position to take action for numerous causes.
With the passage of Tribunal Reforms (Rationalisation and Conditions of Service) Ordinance on April Four which allowed a 4 12 months tenure to chairpersons of all tribunals retrospectively, Justice Singh routinely obtained an extension until April 20, 2021. However, as nonetheless no successor was chosen by the CJI-led panel, the ministry of communication on May 31 wrote a letter to the Director of TDSAT informing that Justice Singh ought to have demitted workplace by April 20, 2021.
Appearing for advocates working towards in TDSAT, senior advocate Vikas Singh stated the apex telecom tribunal could be shut if Justice Singh was compelled to demit workplace by the federal government as the final of the members had retired in October 2019. Attorney normal K K Venugopal knowledgeable a bench of Justices L N Rao, Hemant Gupta and S R Bhat that the CJi was requested to represent a range committee to finalise choice to the put up of TDSAT chairman.
The bench stated, “We have no doubt in our mind that the selection process would be expedited. In the meantime, we direct that Justice Shiva Kirti Singh shall be continued as Chairman, TDSAT till fresh appointment is made to that post. Otherwise, TDSAT has to be closed which would result in no access to justice to the litigant public. We request theCJI to expedite the process of appointment of the Chairman, TDSAT.” On January 4, the SC had directed continuation of Justice Singh as the Chairman of TDSAT as the opposite members of the Tribunal had retired earlier.

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