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Supreme Court adjourns plea challenging Centre’s notification fixing tenure of NCLT members

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The Supreme Court has adjourned the plea filed by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) Bar Association challenging the Ministry of Corporate Affairs’ (MCA) notification fixing the tenure of members of NCLT at 3 years.

The court was miffed because the MCA counsel shared just one copy of the minutes of the committee meeting to the two-judge vacation bench of Justice J.K. Maheshwari and Justice Hima Kohli.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta apologised to the bench for the mix up and offered to file the copy of the minutes in a sealed cover.

Senior Advocate Maninder Singh, appearing for NCLT Bar, objected to the sealed cover saying it should be shared with the bar and the bar is before the Supreme Court.

The Apex Court had issued notice on the plea against the fixing of the tenure of NCLT at 3 years while seeking direction to increase it to 5 years.

The petitioner had argued that the early leaving of the members will leave several seats vacant that will lead to pendency of matters. 

In addition to this, it was further argued that the notification is in violation of the Supreme Court judgment in Madras Bar Association Vs. Union of India & Anr. wherein it was said that the tenure shall be 5 years for the members.

The Counsel further submitted that the tenure of 3 years is a very short period and it isn’t useful as by the time a member attains the required knowledge, experience, and expertise, the tenure expires.

SG Tushar Mehta appears virtually before Supreme Court

SG: Apologies for not being in court. Had left home but given traffic thought I’d end up missing physical and virtual; came back from halfway

J Kohli: It’s alright, we were struck in a snarl ourselves.

SG asks Bench to go through the compilations.

Briefing counsel hands over a copy.

J Kohli: Only one copy for two judges? We’ll have it tomorrow, didn’t expect this.

SG: Sorry my lords, no justification for this.

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