NCLT denies it issued a circular that only urgent matters would be heard due to shortage of staff

NCLT has clarified that it has not issued any circular stating that tribunals will hold only urgent hearings due to a shortage of members, stated a circular posted on its website.

NCLT stated that a note has been circulating on the Whatsapp group saying that with effect from August 10, the tribunal will hear urgent matters until further notice.

The tribunal stated they did not issue any such notification, adding that it “has to be ignored as not valid.” Earlier in the day, the legal fraternity was taken aback by the notice that indicated NCLT would hear only urgent matters.

The now invalid notification stated that there is a shortage of members throughout NCLT benches that is amplified further with “members seeking leave on account of a health and personal reason.”

The acute shortage of members at NCLT prompted legal experts to believe that the tribunal may have issued such a notice.

The tribunal is operating with 50% strength following the retirement of several members. According to media reports, NCLT has 30 vacancies against a sanctioned strength of 63 members. The Ministry of Corporate Affairs is responsible for the timely appointment of NCLT members.

As many as 20,963 cases are pending before NCLT until May, per the response to a query in the Parliament. NCLT precedes over corporate resolution and insolvency process, personal insolvency and matters related to amalgamation and mergers of corporations.

The Supreme Court has often questioned the centre for the delay in appointing judges leading to a rise in backlog and thus delay in justice.

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