SAT Left With Only One Member; Vacancy May Affect Work

Securities and Appellate Tribunal (SAT) presiding officer and judicial member, Justice Tarun Agarwala, retired last week, leaving the quasi-judicial bench with only one judge and potentially affecting the operation of the tribunal that hears appeals against capital market regulator’s orders. Three judges are sanctioned for the SAT. Another member of the tribunal, Justice MT Joshi’s tenure ended in February last year, and his successor has not yet been appointed. Currently, SAT has only a technical member, Meera Swarup, instead of the required strength of three members, including a presiding officer, a judicial member, and a technical member.

Lawyers have raised concerns about rising backlogs as SEBI continues to issue show cause notices and orders. While appeals filed at the SAT against SEBI’s adjudication orders will remain pending. A supreme court bench led by CJI Chandrachud this week refused to entertain a petition regarding a vacancy and SAT, saying that the union government is taking steps to facilitate a fresh appointment.


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