Noted Activist, Advocate Nicky Pokar filed a Writ Petition in Bombay High Court praying for setting up of National Company Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) Bench in Mumbai. In filing the petition, Advocate Nicky Pokar relied on Government of India’s assurance and Supreme Court’s directions in Swiss Ribbons (P) Ltd. V/s Union of India, (2019) 4 SCC 17; wherein the Supreme Court appreciated the hardship of the litigants and Advocates, who arestationed outside Delhi, who not only have to undertake travelling a long distance, but also entailing uncalled for financial expenses. The Swiss Ribbon ruling assumes significance, since it was argued upon if not a permanent Bench at least a circuit bench be established, wherein litigants could avail the requisite remedy; axiomatic to state prior to setting up of NCLAT, the litigants could avail remedy before their respective High Courts and it is nobody’s case to state that after setting up of NCLAT, the litigants could be disadvantaged to travel to Delhi and quite often than not, perforce has to engage Delhi based lawyers. Indisputably Mumbai has amongst the largest of Appeals caused, thus imperative to set up a NCLAT circuit bench in Mumbai.
During the course of proceedings in Swiss Ribbons, on behalf of Government of India the Ld. Attorney General had assured the Supreme Court, that circuit benches of NCLAT will be established at the practicable earliest, to which Supreme Court directed a timeline of Six months, unfortunately the direction of Supreme Court has been observed in breach.
The petition highlights the distinct disadvantage of Litigants and Advocates outside Delhi, since even the on-line filing of Appeals/Applications in NCLAT isn’t functional.
The petition prays for earliest setting up of NCLAT Circuit Bench in Mumbai, and forthwith enabling e-filing of Appeals etc…and as a permanent feature to continue NCLAT proceedings through on-line mode.
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