A Petition has been filed in the Supreme Court which seeks direction to make the Chennai Bench of the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT), functional. The petition said that the bench at Chennai has not been functioning even when the order was passed to set up the same in March this year.
The Petition was filed by senior Advocate R Murari, secretary of Corporate, Insolvency, and Bankruptcy Laws Bar Association (CIBBA). As per the plea, NCLAT functions only in New Delhi, the vast distance greatly affects the person’s right to getting justice, it impedes their access to justice, and also greatly increase the costs that the litigants must incur for access to justice.
It can be asserted the NCLAT at New Delhi exercises its jurisdiction over all 15 benches of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) across the country (including Kochi, Guwahati, and Ahmedabad).
“Functioning of the NCLAT solely out of New Delhi is arbitrary and unreasonable, and also amounts to the denial of equal protection of the law guaranteed to all persons under Article 14”, the plea said.
It was further claimed that
“preparations have been made at Chennai for the Chennai Bench, at considerable expense to the exchequer.”
The plea, relying on the case of Madras Bar Association v Union of India tells, “that locating the tribunal solely at New Delhi would render the remedy inefficacious and, thus, unacceptable in law.”
The Supreme Court upholding Swiss Ribbons Private Limited v. Union of India noted,
“The learned Attorney General has assured us that this judgment will be followed, and Circuit Benches will be established as soon as it is practicable. In this view of the matter, we record this submission and direct the Union of India to set up Circuit Benches of the NCLAT within a period of 6 months from today.”
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