13 Feb 2021 12:12 PM GMT
The Allahabad High Court on Wednesday issued notice on a PIL filed by Company Law Tribunal Bar Association, Allahabad, seeking establishment of a Regional Bench of NCLAT in Prayagraj. A Division bench comprising of Justices Sanjay Yadav and Jayant Banerji heard Senior Advocate RP Agarwal and Advocate Udai Chandani on behalf of the Association, and directed the Ministry of Corporate...
The Allahabad High Court on Wednesday issued notice on a PIL filed by Company Law Tribunal Bar Association, Allahabad, seeking establishment of a Regional Bench of NCLAT in Prayagraj.
A Division bench comprising of Justices Sanjay Yadav and Jayant Banerji heard Senior Advocate RP Agarwal and Advocate Udai Chandani on behalf of the Association, and directed the Ministry of Corporate Affairs and the Law Ministry to file their responses within four weeks.
Presently, there are only two Benches of NCLAT, the principal Bench in New Delhi and a recently established circuit bench in Chennai. The PIL states that the Delhi Bench is overburdened as a large number of appeals from all over the country are filed before it. It is stated that this Bench is saddled with a huge pendency of cases and the very purpose of establishment of Tribunals (for expeditious disposal), stands defeated.
"Establishment of the Tribunal and Appellate Tribunal are to accelerate justice delivery but due to the present facts and circumstances the tribunal as well as Appellate Tribunal has itself being a victim of delay in the judicial process and the purpose is being frustrated," states the plea.
"former Chairperson of the NCLAT has also expressed his inclination in establishing a Regional Bench of the NCLAT in Allahabad so as to make appeals and applications to the NCLAT easily accessible to those living in the northern part of the country."
Reliance is also placed on Swiss Ribbons Pvt. Ltd & Anr. v. Union of India & Ors., (2019) 4 SCC 1726, whereby the Attorney General had, in January 2019, assured the Apex Court that Circuit Benches of NCLAT will be established. The Supreme Court had recorded this submission with a direction to comply within six months.
It is further stated that litigants all over the country including the Professionals find it extremely difficult to travel to Delhi for each and every hearing, due to the same being both financially expensive and time consuming.
The matter is fixed to be heard in the week commencing February 22, 2021.
Last year, the Madras High Court had observed that the delay in establishing a Bench of NCLAT in Chennai may amount to contempt of the Supreme Court's direction in the Swiss Ribbons case to establish circuit Benches of the Tribunal.
Following this, the Central government constituted another Bench of NCLAT at Chennai, which began functioning from 25th January, 2021, through Virtual Mode.
The Bombay High Court is also seized with a petition filed by Advocate Nicky Pokar, seeking directions to the Government of India, for establishing a circuit bench of NCLAT in Mumbai, in terms of the Government's assurance before the Supreme Court during the proceedings in Swiss Ribbons case.
Case Title: Company Law Tribunal Bar Association v. Union of India & Ors.
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