It is reported that former Supreme Court Judge, honourable Justice Shiva Kirti Singh will be the next chair person for the Telecom Disputes Settlement & Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT).

The appointment is for a period of 3 years and he takes over the position which was vacant since last June.

TDSAT has become relevant for Cyber Law and Cyber Crime watchers since it is now also the “Appelalte Tribunal” under Information Technology Act 2000/8 and will be hearing all the appeals against the orders of the Adjudicating Officers.

The report in Economic Times reporting the appointment highlights the high profile disputes before the TDSAT between Jio and Airtel etc. Obviously, the attention of TDSAT will be on such high profile and high stake complaints. Against such complaints, the appeals that are being transferred from CyAT to TDSAT will be too insignificant for  TDSAT to even glance at. There is every likelyhood of Cyber Crime victims getting a lower priority in resolution of their disputes.  It is precisely for this reason that Naavi.org has been uncomfortable with the designation of TDSAT as the Appellate Tribunal under ITA 2000/8.

We have also highlighted that the Cyber Appellate Tribunal (CyAT, now called Appellate Tribunal or AT under ITA 2008) was headed by a Chair person at the level of High Court and below and it made sense that the appeal from CyAT went to a High Court. Now TDSAT is headed by a Chair person at the level of the Supreme Court and it makes it difficult how the appeals can be heard by the High Court which consists of Judges who are perhaps junior in stature.

The Judiciary is very conscious of their hierarchy and protocols and hence the move of the Finance Minister in merging CyAT with TDSAT is considered as leading to many practical issues which ultimately affects the Cyber Crime Victims adversely.

This is all the more reason for the Cyber Crime victims to seriously look at the proposition of Cyber Disputes Mediation and Arbitration (CDMAC) put forth by Naavi. (Refer www.cdmac.in)

Naavi