Supreme Court upholds the constitutional validity of National Company Law Tribunal
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION
WRIT PETITION (C) NO. 1072 OF 2013
MADRAS BAR ASSOCIATION
UNION OF INDIA & ANR.
J U D G M E N T
A.K. SIKRI, J.
This writ petition filed by the petitioner, namely, the Madras Bar Association, is sequel to the earlier proceedings which culminated in the judgment rendered by the Constitution Bench of this Court in Union of India v. R. Gandhi, President, Madras Bar Association1 (hereinafter referred to as the ‘2010 judgment’). In the earlier round of litigation, the petitioner had challenged the constitutional validity of creation of National Company Law Tribunal (‘NCLT’ for short) and National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (‘NCLAT’ for short), along with certain other provisions pertaining thereto which were incorporated by the Legislature in Parts 1 B and 1 C of the Companies Act, 1956 (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Act, 1956’) by Companies (Second Amendment) Act,2002.
2) Writ petition, in this behalf, was filed by the petitioner in the High Court of Madras which culminated into the judgment dated 30.03.2004. The High Court held that creation of NCLT and vesting the powers hitherto exercised by the High Court and the Company Law Board (‘CLB’ for short) in the said Tribunal was not unconstitutional. However, at the same time, the High Court pointed out certain defects in various provisions of Part 1B and Part 1C of the Act, 1956 and, in particular, in Sections 10FD(3)(f)(g)(h), 10FE, 10FF, 10FL(2), 10FR(3), 10FT. Declaring that those provisions as existed offended the basic Constitutional scheme of separation of powers, it was held that unless these provisions are appropriately amended by removing the defects which were also specifically spelled out, it would be unconstitutional to constitute NCLT and NCLAT to exercise the jurisdiction which is being exercised by the High Court or the CLB. The petitioner felt aggrieved by that part of the judgment vide which establishments of NCLT and NCLAT was held to be Constitutional. On the other hand, Union of India felt dissatisfied with the other part of the judgment whereby aforesaid provisions contained in Parts 1 B and 1 C of the Act, 1956 were perceived as suffering from various legal and Constitutional infirmities. Thus, both Union of India as well as the petitioner filed appeals against that judgment of the Madras High Court. Those appeals were decided by the Constitution Bench, as mentioned above.