The Supreme Court has extended the term of Judicial Member of National Company Law Appellate Tribunal Justice Ashok Iqbal Singh Cheema by three months.
Justice Cheema was appointed as Judicial Member on 11.09.2017 in accordance with the 2017 Rules. A member is entitled to continue in service for five years or till he attains the age of 67 years.
The 2017 Rules have been struck down by this court vide judgment in Rojer Mathew vs. South Indian Bank Ltd. & Ors. [2019 (15) SCALE 615]. The Court also noted that the Rules made in 2020 are under challenge as well.
As the writ petitions which have been filed challenging the 2020 Rules are listed for hearing on 15.09.2020, we are of the considered view that the term of the applicant shall extended by three months from 10.09.2020.", the bench comprising Justices L. Nageswara Rao and Hemant Gupta said.
Justice Cheema became the judge of High Court of Bombay on 13.05.2013 and had superannuated as Judge of High Court of Bombay on 21.09.2016. Later, he practiced as Advocate in Supreme Court of India before he was appointed as Judicial Member of NCLAT.
In Rojer Mathew, the Supreme Court had upheld the constitutional validity of Section 184 of the Finance Act 2017, which empowers the Central Government to frame rules relating to appointment and service conditions of members of various tribunals. However, the Court down the Rules already framed by the Central Government under Section 184, and directed the formulation of new rules.
Later the Centre framed the 'Tribunal, Appellate Tribunal and other Authorities (Qualifications, Experience and other Conditions of Service of Members) Rules, 2020. This is challenged by the Madras Bar Association contending that the same are in "contravention of the principles of separation of powers, independence of the judiciary (both being part of the basic structure of our Constitution), and are against efficient and effective administration of justice".
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