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Dearth of Members, NCLT Benches At Chennai Not Fully Functional: Madras High Court Asks Centre To Clarify

Sebin James
1 Dec 2021 3:57 AM GMT
Dearth of Members, NCLT Benches At Chennai Not Fully Functional: Madras High Court Asks Centre To Clarify
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In a public interest litigation filed before Madras High Court for directions to make the NCLT Benches in Chennai fully functional, the respondents including Union of India, NCLT and the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India has been asked to clarify if a single technical member of the Bench at Chennai has been discharging the duties of the NCLT Bench in Kochi...

In a public interest litigation filed before Madras High Court for directions to make the NCLT Benches in Chennai fully functional, the respondents including Union of India, NCLT and the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India has been asked to clarify if a single technical member of the Bench at Chennai has been discharging the duties of the NCLT Bench in Kochi as well.

Respondents have also been asked to explain the situation if it is found that one technical member has been discharging the functions at both benches, thereby detrimentally affecting the functioning of Bench at Chennai.

The order was passed by the first bench of Acting Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice P.D Audikesavalu in a plea filed by one Chartered Accountant, V Venkata Siva Kumar. In the petition filed, it was stated that the two Benches of the NCLT in Chennai must be made fully operational. At the same time, there is a dire need for a third Bench at Chennai, considering the volume of cases pending. The petitioner hence said that NCLT Chennai has been functioning with a sole judicial member contrary to the Act. He had also submitted that the infrastructure amenities required for the third bench has been there since 2018 though no members were appointed.

On 31st August, Madras High Court had asked the Union Ministry to file a status report on the progress made so far on filling up all posts at the NCLT, Chennai pursuant to Supreme Court directions. Later, a status report was filed before the High Court highlighting the central government clearing the names and then notifying the appointment of members to various NCLT Benches in the country.

Previously, the petitioner had submitted that the nomination of members required for the smooth functioning of the existing two benches was not carried out. As of now, one technical member is forced to discharge his duties at the Chennai Bench and the Cochin Bench by demarcating half-day each, alleged the petitioner.

Contrary to the submissions made by the petitioner, the counsel for the Union of India orally submitted that there is one judicial member and one technical member each for both the functioning benches at Chennai.

The matter has been listed for further hearing on 6th December, 2021.

Also Read: 'We Are Very Unhappy': Supreme Court Says Centre Made NCLT/ITAT Appointments From Wait-List Ignoring Select-List

Case Title: CA V. Venkata Siva Kumar v. Union of India & Ors.

Case No: W.P.No. 14357 of 2021

Click Here To Read/ Download Order

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