Justice Rekha Palli, after perusing a status report filed by the Centre, said
it is unfortunate that no time frame has been indicated for making the tribunal functional at the earliest.
“In the interest of justice, respondents are granted two weeks time to file the status report clearly stating the time frame within which it proposes to make the tribunal functional and fill up the posts of chairman and members,” the court said.
The court listed the matter for further hearing on October 7.
The court was hearing a petition filed by Fullerton India Credit Company Limited seeking direction to appoint the chairperson as the presiding officer to the appellate tribunal constituted under the PMLA to deal with economic offence cases under various laws including money laundering.
The Centre, in its status report through standing counsel Manish Mohan, said that the Parliament has recently enacted the Tribunal Reforms Act, 2021, which inter-alia provides for the Conditions of Service of Chairperson and Members of the Tribunals.
“Accordingly, the new Tribunal Rules in terms of the Section 3 of the Tribunal Reforms Act, 2021 are in advance stage of formulation and the process for filing up the posts of Chairman and Members will be initiated once the new Rules are notified,” the Centre said.
The court had on August 5, said it expected the Centre to ensure that the ATPMLA in Delhi would be made functional by September 14.
It had said numerous petitions were being filed before it every day assailing the judgements passed by the PMLA adjudicating authority as the appeals are not being taken up by the appellate tribunal due to want of quorum.
The petition, filed through advocate Jagdeep Sharma, said the petitioner is a non banking finance company and is in the business of extending various types of loan facilities in India.
The plea said it was constraint to approach the high court against the inaction of the government to appoint the chairman of ATPMLA despite the fact that the tribunal does not have the chairman for over two years and due to which the petitioner’s case has not been listed for hearing for more than a year.
The tribunal is mandated to consist of a Chairman, who has to be a retired judge of this court or high court and four members, who can be from the fields of law, finance and management. PTI SKV SKV RKS