Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT)

The Debts Recovery Tribunal have been constituted under Section 3 of the Recovery of Debts Due to Banks and Financial Institutions Act, 1993. Appeals against orders passed by DRTs lie before Debts Recovery Appellate Tribunal (DRAT).

These tribunals were established with the purpose to facilitate the debt recovery involving banks and other financial institutions with their customers.

At present, there are 33 DRTs and 5 DRATs functioning at various parts of the country. In 2014, the government has created six new DRTs to speed up loan related dispute settlement.


  • The Debt Recovery Tribunal Act is allocable to all over India except for State of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The Debts Recovery Tribunal (DRT) enforces provisions of the Recovery of Debts Due to Banks and Financial Institutions (RDDBFI) Act, 1993 and also Securitization and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interests (SARFAESI) Act, 2002.
  • The Debts Recovery Tribunal (DRT) are fully empowered to pass comprehensive orders and can travel beyond the Civil procedure Code to render complete justice. A Debts Recovery Tribunal (DRT) can hear cross suits, counter claims and allow set offs.
  • It can appoint Receivers, Commissioners, pass ex-parte orders, ad-interim orders, interim orders apart from powers to Review its own decisions and hear appeals against orders passed by the Recovery Officers of the Tribunal.


As per Section 4 of the Debt Recovery Tribunal Act,

  1. The tribunal must be comprised of only one individual, who is the presiding officer (P.O), and appointed by the central government through a notification.
  2. It is also mentioned in the Act that central government may also:-
  • Allow any individual as presiding officer from any tribunal set under any other law for the time being in force towards discharging the power of presiding officer of any debt tribunal.
  • Allow any judicial member holding such position as in any other tribunal set under any other law for the time being in force to towards discharging the power as presiding officer (P.O) in debts recovery tribunal furthermore to that of being a judicial member of another tribunal.


The various issues related with the Debt Recovery tribunals in India are as below-

  • The number of DRTs are small given the increasing number of cases.
  • Delay in settling the cases is long.
  • The DRTs were not able to handle cases related to large borrowers.
  • Timely appointment of officials for DRT has not been made.
  • Due to the slow recovery mechanisms, the DRT’s are very slow to work out on pending disputes.

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Thus, in simple words, the DRT’s were established by Central government to receive claim applications from Banks and Financial Institutions against their defaulting borrowers.

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