Centre plans NCLT Bench in every State

Published - February 03, 2015 11:19 am IST - NEW DELHI

The Union government on Monday informed the Supreme Court that it planned to set up a Bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) in every High Court jurisdiction across the country.

“It is intended to establish a Bench or a Circuit Bench of the NCLT at the seat of every jurisdiction of High Court after taking into account the quantum of litigation, geographical location, etc., before transfer of any of the responsibilities from the High Court to the tribunal,” the Ministry of Corporate Affairs said in an affidavit.

The Ministry was replying to a petition filed by the Madras Bar Association challenging the validity of the NCLT and its appellate tribunal.

The affidavit informed that any legal defect in establishing both tribunals, as pointed out by a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court in a May 11, 2010 judgment, has been incorporated into the Companies Act, 2013.

The Constitution Bench had validated the setting up of the tribunals, subject to certain stipulations.

“These provisions are now part of the Companies Act, 2013,… [which] has received the assent of the President and [was] notified in the Official Gazette on August 30, 2013,” the Ministry said, seeking the green signal from the court for establishing the tribunals.

The NCLT is meant to take over from the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction, the Appellate Authority for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction and the Company Law Board.

On the appointment of members to the NCLT, the Ministry said only High Court judges or those who served in the rank of a district judge for at least five years or a person who was an advocate for 10 years was eligible for appointment as judicial officer. It said only officers holding the rank of secretary or additional secretary would be considered for technical members.

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