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Govt begins process of finding TDSAT chief Aftab Alam’s successor

MUMBAI: The Telecom Disputes Settlement & Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) will be without a head very soon with the current chairperson Justice Aftab Alam’s three-year term ending on 16 June.

The government has begun the process of finding Alam’s successor.

Alam, a former Supreme Court judge, had taken charge as TDSAT chairperson with effect from 17 June 2013.

Following Alam’s retirement, the telecom and broadcasting tribunal will have only one member in Bipin BIhari Srivastava, who had joined on 12 May 2015. Earlier, TDSAT member Kuldip Singh, who had joined the tribunal on 1 April 2013, had retired in March.

The flow of cases in the TDSAT is expected to slow down once the three-member bench reduces to just one. The government needs to hurry up in finding a replacement for Alam. The tribunal is hearing a lot of cases related to important telecom and broadcasting.

Incidentally, Alam had constituted two benches from 1 June to hear cases. Bench 1 comprises a chairperson with a member or members while Bench 2 comprises member/members.

Bench 2 is taking up matters under the headings ‘preliminary hearing’, ‘directions’ and ‘for orders’ for passing interim orders only and may dispose of cases in which a settlement is arrived at either bilaterally or in case of mediation before the Mediation Centre of the tribunal.

This arrangement will continue until further orders, the TDSAT had said.