Keeping in line with the international trends on helping financial institutions recover their bad Debt quickly and efficiently, the Government of India has constituted 33 Debt Recovery Tribunals and five Debt Recovery Appellate Tribunals across the country.
The Debt Recovery Tribunals (DRTs) have been established by the Government of India under an Act of Parliament (Act 51 of 1993) for expeditious adjudication and recovery of debts due to banks and financial institutions. The Debt Recovery Tribunal is also the appellate authority for appeals filed against the proceedings initiated by secured creditors under the Securitization and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act.
The Debt Recovery Tribunals are located across the country. Some cities have more than one Debt Recovery Tribunal located therein. New Delhi and Mumbai have three Debt Recovery Tribunals. Chennai and Kolkata have two Debt Recovery Tribunals each. One Debt Recovery Tribunal each has been constituted at Ahmdabad, Allahabad, Arungabad, Bangalore, Chandigrah, Coimbatore, Cuttack, Ernakulam, Guwahati, Hydrabad, Jabalpur, Jaipur, Lucknow, Nagpur, Patna, Pune, Ranchi and Vishakapatnam.
There area number of States that do not have a Debt Recovery Tribunal. The Banks & Financial Institutions and other parties in these States have to go to Debt Recovery Tribunal located in other states having jurisdiction over there area.. Thus the territorial jurisdiction of some Debt Recovery Tribunal is very vast. For example, the Debt Recovery Tribunal located in Guwahati has jurisdiction over all the seven North Eastern States. Similarly, the territorial -jurisdiction of the Debt Recovery Tribunal located at Chandhigarh too has a very wide jurisdiction over the States of Punjab, Harayana, Chandhigarh.
The setting up of a Debt Recovery Tribunal is dependent upon the volume of cases. Higher the number of cases within a territorial area, more Debt Recovery Tribunal would be set up. Each Debt Recovery Tribunal is presided over by a Presiding Officer. The .Presiding Officer is generally a judge of the rank of Dist. & Sessions Judge. A Presiding Officer of a Debt Recovery Tribunal is assisted by a number of officers of other ranks, but none of them need necessarily have a judicial back ground. Therefore, the Presiding Officer of a Debt Recovery Tribunal is the sole judicial authority to hear and pass any judicial order.
Each Debt Recovery . Tribunal has two Recovery Officers. The work amongst the Recovery Officers is allocated by the Presiding Officer. Though a Recovery Officer need not be a judicial Officer, but the orders passed by a Recovery Officer are judicial in nature, and are appealable before the Presiding Officer of the Tribunal.