Hon’ble NCLAT in a landmark judgement directed Hon’ble President NCLT to constitute a bench of Two members of Judicial and Technical Member. The issue came for consideration in an interesting case where the insolvency matter was filed before NCLT Indore Bench, however one of the members of the bench recused from the proceedings on personal grounds. The matter was referred to Hon’ble President by NCLT Registrar for placing before bench but when the President order was perused it came to the notice of litigant that it has been wrongly referred for consideration to third member (judicial) where the law is to refer the matter to third member when the existing two member bench is divided on the issue.
The NCLAT relied on law laid down by Hon’ble Supreme court in batch of matters wherein the matters were directed to be heard by bench of one Judicial member and Technical member in 2019 arising out of NCLT Ahmedabad.
The petitioner submitted that Hon’ble Supreme Court have time and again submitted that in case of Tribunals there has to be two member bench like NCLT in Sonu Cargo Movers (I) Pvt. Ltd. and Anr. v. Union of India and Ors. [WP (Civil)No. 722/2019 dated 20-6-2019] and NGT in NGT Bar Association vs Union of India [ WP (Civil) No.1235/2017 Order dated 31.1.2018].
The petitioner relied on celebrated Constitutional judgement of Madras Bar Association wherein the importance of technical members in Bench constitution was discussed and upheld.
The petitioner was led by counsel Abhijeet Sinha assisted by Advocates Nipun Singhvi, Vishal J Dave, Honey Satpal and Vinit Trehan.
Judgement was given by three member bench headed by Justice Banshi Lal Bhat ,Justice Jarat Kumar Jain and Dr. Ashok Kumar Mishra.
FULL TEXT OF ORDER OF NATIONAL COMPANY LAW APPELLATE TRIBUNAL
After hearing Mr. Abhijeet Sinha, learned counsel for the Appellant for a while, we find that the appeal has turned infructuous in-asmuch-as the matter, in terms of impugned order, stood adjourned to 18th August, 2020 and that date is over. We are informed by learned counsel representing the Appellant that the matter is now posted for 27th August, 2020 before a Single Bench of the National Company Law Tribunal, Indore Bench at Ahmedabad. He invites our attention to an order passed by Hon’ble Apex Court in Writ Petition No. 722 of 2019 dated 20th June, 2019, wherein the Hon’ble Apex Court, in a case of identical nature directed it to be heard by a Bench comprising of a Judicial Member and a Technical Member. This appeal is accordingly disposed of with request to the President, National Company Law Tribunal, New Delhi to constitute a Bench comprising of a Judicial Member and a Technical Member for disposal of the matter in hand in conformity with and compliance with the direction passed by Hon’ble Apex Court in the Writ Petition No. 722 of 2019.
Copy of the order be communicated to President, NCLT, New Delhi for information.