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Establishment of Regional NCLAT Bench in Allahabad—PIL filed in Allahabad High Court

The Allahabad High Court on Wednesday issued notice on a PIL filed by Company Law Tribunal Bar Association (CLTBA) Allahabad, seeking establishment of a Regional Bench of NCLAT in Prayagraj (Allahabad).

A Division bench comprising of Justices Sanjay Yadav and Jayant Banerji hearing a case of Company Law Tribunal Bar Association (CLTBA) v. Union of India and Others, REED 2021 All 2016. Senior Advocate R. P. Agarwal and the President of the NCLT, Bar Association, Allahabad, Udai Chandani appeared on behalf of the petitioners Company Law Tribunal Bar Association (CLTBA).

The Division bench heard the submission of the Senior Advocate R. P. Agarwal and Advocate Udai Chandani and directed the Ministry of Corporate Affairs and the Law Ministry to file their responses within four weeks.

The Petitioner argued that the Central government to take steps to establish and commence the functioning of a regional bench of the NCLAT at Allahabad, in view of the Supreme Court's 2019 verdict in the case of Swiss Ribbons Private Limited and Another V. Union of India and Others, REED 2019 SC 1304.

It was also submitted by the counsels of the petitioners that the Attorney General of India had, in January 2019 assured the Supreme Court that Circuit Benches of NCLAT will be established. The Supreme Court had recorded this submission with a direction to comply within six months. It is further stated that litigants all over the country including the professionals find it extremely difficult to travel to Delhi for each and every hearing, due to the same being both financially expensive and time consuming.

It is to be noted that last year, the Madras High Court had observed that the delay in establishing a Bench of NCLAT in Chennai may amount to contempt of the Supreme Court's direction in the Swiss Ribbons case to establish circuit Benches of the Tribunal. Following this, the Central government constituted another Bench of NCLAT at Chennai, which began functioning from 25 January, 2021, through Virtual Mode. The Bombay High Court is also seized with a petition filed by Advocate Nicky Pokar (REED 2021 Bom 1310) seeking directions to the Government of India, for establishing a circuit bench of NCLAT in Mumbai, in terms of the Government's assurance before the Supreme Court during the proceedings in Swiss Ribbons case.

The matter is fixed to be heard in the week commencing 22 February 2021.

Click here to view the Order

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