The Cabinet today approved the proposal of the Department of Economic Affairs for amendment to Section 15M of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) Act, 1992, to enlarge the field of selection for the post of Presiding Officer (PO) of the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT), by including sitting or retired judge of a High Court with a minimum seven years of service, as a Judge of a High Court as one of the qualifications. 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.
The SAT was set up under Section 15K of the SEBI Act, 1992 to adjudicate upon the appeals against the decisions of SEBI. The SEBI Act 1992, inter-alia, under Section 15M specifies that a person shall not be qualified for appointment as the Presiding Officer of Securities Appellate Tribunal, unless he is a sitting or retired Judge of the Supreme Court or a sitting or retired Chief Justice of a High Court. The existing prescribed qualifications made selection to the post of PO, SAT difficult. As a result, filling up the post of PO, SAT had been pending for quite some time.
With the decision taken today 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.