The recent judgement of the Supreme Court Rojer Mathew Vs South Indian Bank Ltd & ors Civil Appeal No 8588 of 2019 dated November 13, 2019 has raised a doubt in some circles as to whether TDSAT continues to be the Cyber Appellate Authority.
Initial views expressed in this regard that “TDSAT is no longer Appellate Body to Adjudication Officer instead of CyAT” appears to be not supported by the judgement.
The judgement requires a deeper analysis and contains discussion of many issues. It actually highlights the importance of Tribunals and their role in good justice delivery.
Parts of the judgement cover discussion on Section 184 of the Finance Act 2017 insofar as it delegates the powers to lay down the qualifications of Chairperson etc of Tribunals mentioned in the eight schedule. This schedule covered 19 tribunals but not the Cyber Appellate Tribunal.
It was under the Ninth Schedule of the Finance Act 2018 that the Cyber Appellate Tribunal was merged with the TDSAT which had already been formed and regulated under the TRAI Act.
The striking down of the “The Tribunal, Appellate Tribunal and other Authorities (Qualifications, Experience and other Conditions of Service of Members) Rules, 2017 ” does not affect CyAT or TDSAT.
Hence at present I hold the view that this judgement does not affect the functioning of TDSAT regarding Appeals arising from the Adjudicating officers.
The judgement is being studied in detail and if necessary, further clarifications will be posted here.
Counter views are welcome.