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NEW DELHI: Electronic filing of application before tribunals is mandatory for recovery of debt amounting to 100 crore and above, as per a new rule brought out by the finance ministry on Thursday.

The ministry introduced the requirement by adding a new provision to the rules governing debt recovery tribunals and their appellate tribunals originally issued in 2020. The change is effective from Thursday, said the Debts Recovery Tribunals and Debts Recovery Appellate Tribunals Electronic Filing (Amendment) Rules, 2021.

The idea is to aid the transition of tribunals into electronic mode of functioning, which has gathered pace during the pandemic. Electronic filing was so far optional for parties seeking debt recovery orders under the earlier rules.

After a party electronically files a petition or document, it is necessary to file a hard copy within seven working days along with acknowledgement of e-filing and the e-filing date will be taken as the date of making that submission.

The government is increasingly making various quasi judicial proceedings within the administrative control of the government as well as proceedings of tribunals electronic to reduce physical contact and to improve justice delivery.

The Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) last month opened its e-filing facility for appeals to make communication between the tribunal and the disputing parties easier.

Enabling courts and tribunals to deliver justice quickly and to improve efficiency is part of the government’s broader goal of improving ease of doing business. The World Bank had in its ease of doing business reports flagged ‘enforcement of contracts’ as an area where India needs to make improvements.

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