Government tweaks criterion for SAT chief selection

New Delhi, Jan 10 (IANS) A retired high court judge with seven years of service will now be eligible for appointment as chief of Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT), Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said Thursday.

The union cabinet approved the proposal to amend the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) Act, 1992, to enlarge the field of selection for the post of presiding officer of the SAT, that hears the appeals against the orders of the capital market regulator SEBI.

Under the existing law, only a sitting or retired judge of the Supreme Court or a sitting or retired chief justice of a high court is eligible for the SAT chief post.

Chidambaram said the government had decided to enlarge the ambit of selection criteria for the SAT chief position as it was becoming difficult to fill the vacancy.

The post of the presiding officer of the SAT is lying vacant since November 2011.

"With the decision taken today (Thursday) by the cabinet, it is expected that it would be easier to fill up the vacancy, without diluting the expertise or experience required for the post. There are no financial implications of the proposal," said an official statement released after the cabinet meeting.

Amendment to the SEBI Act, 1992, will be done on the lines of the approved ordinance and a bill will be introduced in the ensuing session of parliament to replace the ordinance with such modifications of drafting or consequential nature, if any, in consultation with the legislative department, it said.

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