On Thursday, the Supreme Court directed Hon’ble Justice Shiva Kirti Singh (former SC Judge) to continue as the Chairperson of Telecom Disputes Settlement Appellate Tribunal until a new appointment is made to the post.
This direction was passed by a Bench comprising Hon’ble Justice L Nageswara Rao, Hon’ble Justice S Ravindra Bhat and Hon’ble Justice Hemant Gupta in an IA filed in Madras Bar Association’s plea challenging Tribunals Reforms Ordinance 2021.
The Court also requested the Hon’ble CJI to expedite the appointment process.
AG KK Venugopal stated that according to Apex Court’s January order, Justice Singh continues with the post for three months till a new appointment is made; as a new appointment is yet to be made, Centre wrote to Hon’ble CJI Ramana stating that a selection and search committee should be formed.
On 31st March, the Union Ministry communicated to the TDSAT Chairperson to demit the office by 20th April. In the said communication, the Union stated that as per the new Tribunal Reforms Ordinance, Chairperson’s tenure could not exceed four years.
Practising lawyers challenged this communication before the Tribunal.
After hearing the parties, the Bench ruled that Hon’ble Justice Shiva Kirti Singh will continue serving as the Chairperson until someone else is appointed. The Bench requested the Hon’ble CJI to expedite the process of appointment.