The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) was constituted with effect from June 1, 2016, for hearing appeals against the orders of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), which, in turn, simultaneously replaced the erstwhile Company Law Board.
Constituted under the Companies Act, 2013, the appellate tribunal was conceived as the dedicated appeals forum for resolving corporate law disputes and speeding up the resolution by taking over the role hitherto played by overburdened High Courts in adjudicating such appeals.
Besides deciding on prayers against the NCLT’s rulings, including in matters relating to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), the NCLAT also serves as the appellate body for those aggrieved by decisions made by the Competition Commission of India or orders passed by the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India under Sections 202 and 211 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC).
Established in New Delhi, the NCLAT initially comprised five members: two members each on the judicial and technical sides and a Chairperson.
As part of its efforts to strengthen the entire NCLT and NCLAT apparatus with a view to further reducing pendency, the Centre this year added a total of four new members to the NCLAT — two each in judicial and technical capacities.
The government has also decided to set up a bench of the appellate tribunal at Chennai.
Qualification of Members
While a member (Judicial) of the NCLAT has to have been a judge of a High Court or a judicial member of the NCLT for five years, a technical member ought to possess proven ability and standing with domain knowledge and experience of not less than 25 years in areas such as law, industrial finance, industrial management, investment, accountancy, labour matters or corporate restructuring.
The chairperson must have been a judge of the Supreme Court of India or a Chief Justice of a High Court.
How does the appeals process work?
A party aggrieved by a ruling by any of the NCLT’s numerous benches can file an appeal against it within 45 days of receipt of a copy of the order, with a further 45 days allowed if the NCLAT is satisfied that the appellant had sufficient cause that prevented the filing of the appeal within the stipulated period.
The NCLAT’s verdicts can in turn be challenged on a question of law in the Supreme Court, within a 60-day window.
What is National Company Law Tribunal?
The National Company Law Tribunal or NCLT is a quasi-judiciary body established in India, to govern the companies registered in India.
It is a successor to the Company Law Board.
The government has appointed 11 benches for NCLT.
Selection of members is done by a selection committee headed by the Secretary of the Corporate Affairs Ministry (MCA).