The Allahabad High Court has sought a reply from the Central Government in a petition seeking the establishment of a regional bench of the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal at Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh.
The division bench of Justice Jayant Banerji and Sanjay Yadav passed this order while hearing a Public Interest Litigation filed by the Company Law Tribunal Bar Association (CLTBA).
Senior Advocate R.P. Agarwal appeared for the Petitioners, assisted by Advocate Udai Chandani, who is also the President (NCLT) Bar Association, Allahabad and Advocate Prabha Shanker Mishra. Central Government Standing Counsel Manu Vardhana appeared for the Government.
The Court has issued notice in the matter, at which point the Court also opined that the NCLAT Principal Bench at Delhi is not a necessary party to the matter.
The Petitioner has submitted that the NCLAT Bench should be established with immediate effect. It is noted that there is a specific procedure provided for under Section 422 of the Companies Act, whereby every application or petition presented before the Tribunal should be decided within three months, which is not being followed in letter and spirit by the NCLTs and the NCLAT.
The Petitioner has also highlighted that Section 408 of the Companies Act, 2013 empowers the Central government to issue a notification to constitute the NCLAT.
The Petitioner shows concern that since the NCLAT’s Principal Bench is situated only in Delhi, litigants all over the country, including the professionals find it extremely difficult to travel for each and every hearing before it. The distance means that conducting NCLAT cases is time consuming and expensive for litigants outside Delhi, it has been contended.
The Petition moved through Company Law Tribunal Bar Association, Allahabad has called on the Central Government to take steps to establish and commence the functioning of a regional bench of the NCLAT at Allahabad, in view of the Supreme Court’s 2019 ruling in the case of Swiss Ribbons Pvt. Ltd. & another Vs. Union of India & others.
The petition will be heard next on March 22.