National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT)
The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) is a quasi-judicial body in India that adjudicates issues in connection to Indian companies. The NCLT came into being under the Companies Act 2013 and was constituted on 1st June 2016 by the government of India and is based on the suggestion of the justice Eradi committee on the laws relating to insolvency and winding up of the companies.
The NCLT has a total of eleven benches, two at New Delhi (one being the principal bench) and one each at Ahmedabad, Allahabad, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Chennai, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Mumbai. Justice M.M. Kumar, a retired Chief Justice of the Jammu & Kashmir High Court has been selected as the President of the NCLT.
The NCLT has the authority under the Companies Act to adjudicate proceedings:
- Initiated before the Company Law Board under the earlier act (the Companies Act 1956);
- awaiting before the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction(BIFR), including those pending under the Sick Industrial Companies (Special Provisions) Act, 1985;
- in anticipation of the Appellate Authority for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction; and
- Pertaining to the claims of oppression and negligence of a company, winding up of companies and all other powers prescribed under the Companies Act.
The transition from CLB to NCLT
The Act has set out in detail the process to deal with cases which are waiting in various forums in Section 434. The Government has notified 1st June 2016 for transfer of matters from CLB to NCLT. On that date, all the pending proceedings before CLB will be then transferred to the NCLT and the Tribunal will dispose of such matters in concurrence with the provisions of law. Tribunal has the discretion to take up the pending CLB proceeding from any of the stages. At its discretion, it can take up the matter at the stage where it was left by the CLB or start the proceedings afresh i.e. from the beginning or from any stage it deems fit.
Advantages of National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT)
following are the advantages of National Company Law Tribunal(NCLT):
- NCLT reduces the multiplicity of litigation before different forums and courts.
- NCLT is a specialized court, meant only for corporate – for the companies registered in India.
- NCLT consists of both the judiciary members as well as technical members while deciding on the matters.
- NCLT has many branches spread across India.
- NCLT will be able to provide justice at a close range.
- The time devoted to the winding up of a company is reduced.
- NCLT disposes of cases speedily which will further help to reduce the total number of cases.
- Both NCLT, as well as NCLAT, have exclusive jurisdiction.
Powers of National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT)
- To pronounce the liability of members unlimited.
- De-registration of the companies.
- To ask for the assistance of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate.
- The solution for oppression and mismanagement.
- To freeze assets of the companies.
- To examine the ownership of the company.
- To limit any securities related to the company.
- Alteration of Public Limited Company into Private Limited Company.
- To amend the financial year of a company, registered in India.
- To examine or for initiating investigation proceedings.
The procedure for filing an appeal before National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT)
- The language of the application:
each appeal or petition or application or caveat petition or objection or counter presented to the Tribunal must be in English and in case it is in some other Indian language, it must be accompanied by a copy translated into English. The application must be fairly and legibly typewritten.
- Printing of the application:
The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) application shall be lithographed or printed in double spacing on one side of standard petition paper with the inner margin of about four-centimeter width on top and with the right margin of 2.5. Centimeter, and left margin of 5 centimeters, indexed and stitched together in a paper book form.
- The Title:
The cause title must state “Before the National Company Law Tribunal” and must specify the Bench to which it is presented.
- The appeal must be in paragraphs and numbered consecutively and every paragraph shall contain as nearly as may be, a separate factor allegation or point.
- Full name, parentage, age, description of each party and address and in case the party sues or is being sued in a representative character, shall also be set out at the commencement of the appeal or petition or application and need not be repeated in the subsequent proceedings in the same appeal or petition or application.
- The names of parties must be numbered consecutively and a separate line must be allotted to the name and description of each party.
- Any fresh parties must be numbered consecutively in the particular category, in which they are brought in.
- The address for service of summons must be filed with every appeal or petition or application or caveat on behalf of the party.
National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT)
The decision of the NCLT may be appealed to the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT). The decisions of NCLAT may be appealed to the Supreme Court(SC) of India.
Difference between the NCLT and the NCLAT
The NCLT has principal jurisdiction whereas NCLAT has the appellate jurisdiction. NCLAT is a senior forum than NCLT. Evidence and witnesses are usually presented before NCLT for taking the decisions and NCLAT normally reviews decisions of NCLT and checks it on a point of law or fact. Fact discovery and evidence compilation is primarily a task of Tribunal whereas the Appellate Tribunal decides cases on the basis of already collected evidence and witnesses.
The NCLT and NCLAT Rules are formed to reduce multiplicities in the litigation and alleviating the burden on the existing framework for ruling for company law disputes by providing for a sole adjudicatory institution with enhanced technical assistance