Citing a need for legal knowledge and skills, banks have shot down a proposal by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) to allow chartered accountants to appear before the Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) to plead cases.

The debt tribunal was set up to adjudicate bank recovery suits. It works in lieu of civil courts. Advocates having specific knowledge of the subject are deemed competent to handle cases before the tribunal, bankers said. Hence, it is not advisable to permit chartered accountants to appear before DRT for banks as they would not be competent enough to handle a case before the tribunal, they added.

Sources said that the Union Finance Ministry had sought the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) views on a suggestion made by ICAI to amend the recovery of debts due to banks, and in the Financial Institutions Act 1993 (DRT Act) and other rules.

The amendment was mooted to allow chartered accountants to represent matters before the DRT on behalf of their clients. ICAI cited various legislations that permit CAs to represent their clients. But, the IBA stressed that proceedings at DRT requires knowledge of various laws and day-to-day legal developments.

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