"The doors of justice cannot be closed", remarked the Supreme Court while it asked the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal, which has suspended the court work, to find out a way for online hearing.
The bench comprising of Justice Arun Mishra, S. Abdul Nazeer and Indira Banerjee was hearing a Special Leave Petition in which the petitioner's counsel submitted that he has filed an appeal against the order of NCLT, Mumbai before the NCLAT, but the NCLAT has closed its functioning as one of its employees is suffering from Covid-19.
"We request the NCLAT to start the hearing of the matter on interim stay, immediately on reopening.", said the bench while dismissing the SLP with the above observation.
NCLAT work was suspended after a staff member of NCLAT was tested positive for Covid-19 on 26th June 2020. Thereafter, Acting Chairperson, Members, Officers of the Registry and the staff were subjected to Covid-19 test. On 2nd July, NCLAT informed through a notice that the Court work (Virtual hearing) and filing etc. would remain suspended till 10th July. It also informed that the matters listed from 6th July, 2020 to 10th July, 2020 in the Court of Chairperson and Court - II would not be taken up.
Before this incident on 26th June, NCLAT had been hearing urgent cases through video conferencing mode from June 1. It had also issued Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for advocate/authorised representative/ party-in-person for 'Mentioning' the matter for hearing through virtual mode.
Case name: M/S MARATHE HOSPITALITY vs. MAHESH SUREKHA