The Supreme Court observed that the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) has no jurisdiction to condone the delay exceeding 15 days from the period of 30 days, as contemplated under Section 61(2) of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.
In this case, referring to sub-section (2) of Section 61 of the IBC which provides for powers to the Appellate Tribunal to condone the delay of only 15 days which it can condone over the period of 30 days, if there is a sufficient cause, the Appellate Tribunal dismissed an appeal. In this case, the appeal before the NCLAT was filed with a further delay of 44 days beyond a total period of 45 days.
The bench of Justices MR Shah and Aniruddha Bose, referring to the relevant provisions of IBC observed:
The appeal preferred before the NCLAT was under Section 61(2) of the IB Code. As per Section 61(2) of the IB Code, the appeal was required to be preferred within a period of thirty days. Therefore, the limitation period prescribed to prefer an appeal was 30 days. However, as per the proviso to Section 61(2) of the Code, the Appellate Tribunal may allow an appeal to be filed after the expiry of the said period of 30 days if it is satisfied that there was sufficient cause for not filing the appeal, but such period shall not exceed 15 days. Therefore, the Appellate Tribunal has no jurisdiction at all to condone the delay exceeding 15 days from the period of 30 days, as contemplated under Section 61(2) of the IB Code.
The bench, in this regard, referred to the constitution bench judgment in New India Assurance Company Limited v. Hilli Multipurpose Cold Storage Private (2020) 5 SCC 757
The court also rejected the request to condone the delay in exercise of powers under Article 142 of the Constitution of India, since the amount involved is a very huge amount and that the appellant is a public body.
We are afraid what cannot be done directly considering the statutory provisions cannot be permitted to be done indirectly, while exercising the powers under Article 142 of the Constitution of India...Thus, considering the statutory provisions which provide that delay beyond 15 days in preferring the appeal is uncondonable, the same cannot be condoned even in exercise of powers under Article 142 of the Constitution. [Para 11]
[referred to Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Limited v. Gujarat Energy Transmission Corporation Limited, AIR 2017 SC 1352, Teri Oat Estates (P) Ltd. v. U.T. Chandigarh (2004) 2 SCC 130]
Case: National Spot Exchange Limited vs. Anil Kohli CA 6187 OF 2019
Citation: LL 2021 SC 453
Coram: Justices MR Shah and Aniruddha Bose
Counsel: Sr. Adv Maninder Singh, Adv Abhishek