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Securities Appellate Tribunal will get new bench in Delhi

This bench will deal with firms based out of the northern states

Ashley Coutinho  |  Mumbai 

Illustration by Binay Sinha
Illustration by Binay Sinha

After a prolonged wait, a new (SAT) bench may finally be up and running this year. The idea of a new bench was proposed by finance minister Arun Jaitley during the of 2016 to help expedite cases pertaining to the securities market. 

According to sources, the bench will be based out of Delhi and deal with matters pertaining to companies based out of the northern states like Punjab, Haryana and Delhi. Even companies from Kolkata are likely to come under its jurisdiction.  

The new bench will constitute of a judicial member and technical member, but may not include a presiding officer. Secretaries and assistants will also be recruited. 

At present, the has one bench in Mumbai, with one presiding officer Justice JP Devadhar and two other members. 

Apart from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), the has begun hearing appeals against orders issued by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) and the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA), beginning 2015. As a result, the number of cases that will come to the are likely to increase in the coming months. The Delhi bench will, therefore, lighten the burden on the existing bench. 

“Litigants from north India will no longer have to travel all the way to Mumbai. On an average, today, the takes about a year to dispose off cases; a new bench will hopefully help to expedite disposals,” said RS Loona, partner at Dhaval Vussonji Alliance and former executive director at He added that a second bench should suffice for the time being and setting up of new benches could be considered at a later date either in the South or East.

is a statutory body established under the provisions of Section 15K of the Act, 1992 to hear and dispose of appeals against orders passed by the

The number of appeals filed in the against orders as well as the pendency of cases has been rising every year. According to the data, 591 appeals were filed against orders in the in 2015-16, up from 520 appeals in 2014-15 and 182 in 2013-14. Similarly, pendency rates have risen from 86 in 2012-13 to 423 in 2015-16.

Loona believes that the main challenge before the will be to widen its expertise in dealing with cases pertaining to sectors such as insurance. J N Gupta, former executive director at Sebi, believes that it will crucial for both the benches to maintain a kind of uniformity in the judgements that they pronounce.

Orders passed by the regulator can be appealed before the as per the Act, while the latter’s orders can be challenged before the  

Sebi’s success rate in the stood at 90 per cent for 2014-15. 

In 2016, the government had proposed to amend the Act, 1992 to set up new benches of the