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SAT ‘full’, with new presiding officer, technical member

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The government has appointed a new presiding officer and a new technical member to the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT), that had been functioning with a single member for more than three months.

Justice PS Dinesh Kumar, a former Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court, has been appointed as the presiding officer. Dheeraj Bhatnagar, retired Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, Delhi, is the technical member.

The tenure for both members will be for four years, a Gazette Notification said.

“It is anticipated that the new appointees will promptly assume their roles, enabling SAT to fully function and tackle the backlog of cases accumulated during the period of incomplete quorum. Moreover, they will need to revisit several significant cases that were previously heard by the retiring Bench but remained unresolved,” said Sumit Agrawal, Founder, Regstreet Law Advisors. The Tribunal’s presiding officer Justice Tarun Agarwala had retired and demitted office on December 29. Justice MT Joshi vacated his office in February last year.

A SAT Bench must consist of three members that includes a presiding officer and a technical member. At least one judicial member is required to pronounce a final order.


Without a complete Bench since January cases have piled up, as most matters had to be adjourned Cases such as Bombay Dyeing and Franklin Templeton, which were argued before the previous Bench and in which orders have not been passed, will have to be argued afresh before the new Bench.

“The pendency of matters before SAT has risen and cases can now be taken up for hearing and final disposal. In the absence of quorum, litigants were approaching the High Court for urgent relief. With the vacancies filled, litigants can now approach SAT for appropriate relief,” said Pulkit Sukhramani, Partner – Securities Litigation, JSA.

Agrawal believes that the appointment and notification of one more judicial member could result in two SAT Benches, which would significantly clear the backlog of cases.

In his 2016 Budget speech, then Finance Minister, the late Arnn Jaitley, had announced the expansion of SAT Benches.

SAT hears appeals against orders passed by the Securities and Exchange Board of India, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India and the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority