The Supreme Court has directed the Centre to set up ‘circuit benches’ for the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) in the next six months.
Currently, NCLAT functions only out of the national capital.
This direction came in a apex court judgement– delivered by Justices R F Nariman and Navin Sinha—dismissing 10 different petitions challenging various provisions of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC).
The setting up of circuit benches for NCLAT is expected to ensure additional presence of this Tribunal in many cities, provide convenience for appellants, who otherwise had to travel to Delhi, and expedite disposal of matters.
Saurav Kumar, Partner, IndusLaw, a law firm, said that the judgement doesn’t clarify the places where the circuit benches be established.
“We can draw some parallel from the Madras Bar Association judgment which has been referred to in this Judgment, where the requirement was to set up circuit benches at the seat of every jurisdictional High Court”, Kumar said. Such Circuit benches may, for the short to medium term, solve for convenience and expediency as earlier existed when the powers was with the High Court, according to Kumar.
However, this may not be enough, for a successful implementation of the IBC, he said.
“The Central Government should consider a combination of permanent benches and circuit benches across the country, which will allow for effective implementation of remedy under the Code”, Kumar said.
Aseem Chawla, Managing Partner, ASC Legal, a law firm, said: ”To strengthen the process and the appellate institution, one can take a cue from the manner of functioning of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal framework and similarly NCLAT can have benches spread over the important cities and thereby have an additional presence”.
via NCLAT: SC directs Centre to set up circuit benches in 6 months – The Hindu BusinessLine