A petition has been moved in the Madras High Court for steps to ensure the commencement of the Southern Bench of the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) at Chennai at the earliest, in terms of the Supreme Court’s December 2019 order and the consequent notification issued by the Centre in March this year.
The petition moved by an Advocate, GV Mohan Kumar raises concern over the delay in setting up an NCLAT bench at Chennai to hear appeals against orders from NCLTs for Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Lakshadweep and Puducherry.
It is pointed out that this is despite the Attorney General’s submissions in the matter, the ensuing Supreme Court order in the Swiss Ribbons case for the establishment circuit benches of the NCLAT within six months and the notification issued by the Union Ministry of Corporate Affairs on March 13, 2020 for the establishment of the NCLAT Bench at Chennai.
Following the notification, no further action has been taken to ensure the setting up of a regional Bench of the NCLAT at Chennai, the petitioner has submitted.
The delay has put litigants, Chartered Accountants, Company Secretaries and Lawyers to severe hardship due to the inaccessibility of the NCLAT at New Delhi, particularly given the prevailing travel restrictions across the country and connected risks.
“Despite the notification having been issued long ago, not constituting the Southern Bench at Chennai is posing a severe inconvenience to several litigants and professionals alike“, reads the plea.
It is the need of the hour that the NCLAT Regional Bench commence its functioning at the earliest in order to ease the burden on litigants and lawyers, the petitioner adds. A representation made last October to NCLAT Registrar, the Union Ministries of Law and Corporate Affairs and to the State of Tamil Nadu failed to yield any reply or action, it is stated.
Therefore, the petitioner has now moved the Madras High Court on the issue. The petition has been filed through Advocates Naveen Kumar Murthi, S Varsha, K Bratheesh, Sanjhesh Mahalingam and Ananth K.
The matter is likely to be taken up next week.