Plea in SC seeks to make Chennai Bench of NCLAT functional

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Representative image

New Delhi [India], December 25 (ANI): A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court urging it to make the Chennai Bench of the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) functional. The petitioner said that the functioning of tribunal solely in Delhi impedes access to justice.

The petition filed by the Corporate, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Laws Bar Association (CIBBA) stated that the proposed Bench has not been functioning even though an order was passed to set up the same in March this year.

Since NCLAT functions only out of New Delhi, the vast distances greatly impede access to justice and also increase the costs that litigants must incur for access to justice, the petition further said.

The petition stated, "Functioning of the NCLAT solely out of New Delhi is arbitrary and unreasonable, and also amounts to denial of equal protection of the law guaranteed to all persons under Article 14."

It further said that NCLAT at Delhi exercises jurisdiction over benches of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) located at 15 cities across India each of which has a substantial caseload.

It also claimed that all "preparations have been made at Chennai for the Chennai Bench, at considerable expense to the exchequer."

The top court, in September 2019, had directed the Centre to set up the Circuit Benches of the NCLAT within a period of six months.

On March 13 this year, the Centre notified the constitution of the NCLAT Chennai Bench. As per the notification, the NCLAT Chennai shall hear appeals from the NCLTs having jurisdiction over Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Lakshadweep and Puducherry. (ANI)