How to File Applications with Debt Recovery Tribunals?


Debt Recovery Tribunals (DRTs) play a crucial role in facilitating the recovery of debts owed to banks and financial institutions in India. To navigate this process effectively, it’s essential to understand the rules and procedures involved. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the key aspects of filing applications with DRTs under the “Debts Recovery Tribunal (Procedure) Rules, 1993.”

  1. Understanding the Basics

Before diving into the procedures, let’s clarify some fundamental terms:

  • Applicant: This refers to the person or entity making an application to the DRT under Section 19 of the Recovery of Debts Due to Banks and Financial Institutions Act, 1993 (referred to as “the Act”).
  • Defendant: The individual or entity against whom the application is filed.
  • Legal Practitioner: This has the same meaning as defined in the Advocates Act, 1961.
  • Registrar: The Registrar of the DRT.
  • Presiding Officer: The head of the DRT, responsible for making orders and decisions.
  1. Language of the Tribunal

The proceedings in a DRT can be conducted in either English or Hindi. However, any documents or matters in other languages must be accompanied by an accurate translation in English or Hindi.

  1. Filing an Application
  • Form of Application: An application should be presented using the specified form attached to the rules.
  • Filing Options: An application can be presented in person, by an authorized agent, or through a legal practitioner. It can also be sent via registered post to the Registrar.
  • Timing: Applications sent by post are deemed presented on the day they are received by the Registrar.
  • Multiple Defendants: If there are multiple defendants, provide sufficient copies and envelopes bearing their addresses.
  1. Presentation and Scrutiny of Applications
  • Endorsement and Registration: The Registrar endorses the application’s presentation date and signs it. If the application is in order, it’s registered and assigned a serial number.
  • Defect Rectification: If the application has formal defects, the Registrar may allow rectification. If not rectified within the specified time, the Registrar can decline registration.
  • Appeal: Applicants can appeal the Registrar’s decision to the Presiding Officer.
  1. Review of Orders
  • Parties unhappy with a Tribunal’s order due to a mistake or error can apply for a review within sixty days of the order’s date, accompanied by an affidavit.
  • The Tribunal may grant or reject the review application after giving notice to the opposite party.
  1. Place of Filing Applications

File applications with the Registrar within whose jurisdiction the bank or financial institution operates.

  1. Application Fee
  • Every application, interlocutory application, or application for a review must be accompanied by a prescribed fee, payable through demand draft or Indian Postal Order.
  • The fee amount varies based on the amount of debt claimed.
  1. Contents of Application

Clearly present the grounds for the application, and if seeking interim orders, specify them. It’s not necessary to file a separate application for interim orders if included in the original application.

  1. Documents to Accompany the Application

Attach a paper book containing various documents, including details of the debt, relied-upon documents, and proof of the application fee. Documents should be attested and typed neatly.

  1. Plural Remedies

An applicant cannot seek relief based on more than one cause of action in a single application unless the reliefs are consequential.

  1. Serving the Respondent

A copy of the application and paper book must be served on each respondent by registered post as soon as they are filed.

  1. Filing Reply by the Defendant

The defendant has one month to file a reply along with documents. Failure to do so may lead to the Tribunal proceeding to pass an order.

  1. Date and Place of Hearing

The Tribunal notifies the parties of the hearing date and place as directed by the Presiding Officer.

  1. Order to be Signed and Dated

All orders of the Tribunal must be in writing, signed, dated, and pronounced in open court.

  1. Publication of Orders

Orders fit for publication may be released with certain terms and conditions.

  1. Communication of Orders

All orders are communicated to the applicant and defendant either in person or by registered post, free of cost.

  1. Fee for Inspection and Copying Records

Fees are charged for inspecting records and obtaining copies.

  1. Orders and Directions

The Tribunal may issue orders or directions to secure the ends of justice.

  1. Working Hours and Sitting Hours

Details about the working and sitting hours of the Tribunal.

  1. Holidays

Procedures to follow when the last day for an act falls on a holiday.

  1. Powers and Functions of the Registrar

The Registrar’s roles, including custody of records and the use of the official seal.

  1. Seal and Emblem

Information about the official seal and emblem of the Tribunal.

  1. Additional Powers and Duties of Registrar

Further powers and duties of the Registrar, including receiving applications and deciding on their scrutiny.


Understanding the rules and procedures outlined in the Debts Recovery Tribunal (Procedure) Rules, 1993 is crucial when dealing with debt recovery matters. It’s advisable to seek legal counsel or engage a legal practitioner experienced in DRT proceedings to ensure compliance and effectively pursue debt recovery.

For more details, you can refer to the official document outlining the Debts Recovery Tribunal (Procedure) Rules, 1993.

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