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The Supreme Court today extended the tenure of the incumbent Chairman of the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) by three months and directed the Centre to expedite the process of appointment for TDSAT members.
The incumbent Chairman of the TDSAT, Justice Shiva Kirti Singh, was scheduled to retire on April 20. The Bench of Justice L Nageswara Rao with Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Deepak Gupta noted that no judicial or technical members were appointed since last year.
"How can the TDSAT function without sitting members", Court said
Senior Counsel Vikas Singh informed the Court today that along with the vacant seats in the TDSAT, even Intellectual Property Appellate Board has vacancies which require to be filled.
On the issue of TDSAT, however, the Court observed that all posts except that of the Chairman remain vacant and even the incumbent Chairman is scheduled to retire on April 20. The Court expressed its concern over the functioning of the Tribunal in such circumstances with no sitting members.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the Court that he needs to take instructions on the issue of appointments.
The Court, therefore, asked the Centre to expedite the appointment process for the members of the TDSAT while also extending the tenure of the incumbent Chairman by three months. The matter will be heard again in the first week of May.
The petitioners were represented by Senior Advocate Vikas Singh and Advocate Tushar Singh.