Committee chaired by CJI deliberated on issue regarding tenure of 23 NCLT members: Centre to SC

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said the committee had considered all aspects of the matter

AgenciesUpdated: Wednesday, May 25, 2022, 08:40 PM IST
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The bench was hearing a plea that has raised issues about the tenure of the members of the tribunal. / Representative image |

The Centre Wednesday told the Supreme Court that a committee chaired by the Chief Justice of India had held a meeting on April 20 in which the question regarding the tenure of 23 members of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has been deliberated upon.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, told a vacation bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and Bela M Trivedi that the committee, which also comprises apex court judge Justice Surya Kant and Secretary of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, is seized of the issue and the next meeting is likely to be held within a week or 10 days.

Mehta said the committee had considered all aspects of the matter, including verification reports of character and antecedents, which are considered to be one of the important factors for the assessment of the suitability of the 23 members for extension of their term of office keeping in view the sensitive nature of their duties.

“Now, I am given to understand that the next meeting is scheduled in a week or 10 days,” he said while requesting the top court to hear the matter on June 15.

Mehta said the next retirement of one of the NCLT members is on June 20.

The bench was hearing a plea that has raised issues about the tenure of the members of the tribunal.

“The Solicitor General has submitted that the committee chaired by the Chief Justice of India and consisting of Justice Surya Kant and the Secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs held its meeting on April 20, 2022, where the question regarding the tenure of the twenty-three members of the National Company Law Tribunal of the 2019 batch has been deliberated upon,” the bench noted in its order.

“Since the term of one of the members of that batch is to come to an end on June 20, 2022, the Solicitor General has requested the court to place these proceedings on June 15, 2022, since the committee is seized of the issue,” the bench said.

The apex court noted the submissions of senior advocate Maninder Singh, who appeared for the petitioner and submitted that term of all the members of the 2019 batch would come to an end on July 3, 2022, though the term should legitimately be for a period of five years.

“List the proceedings on June 15, 2022,” the bench said, adding, “We request the Solicitor General to apprise the court of the developments which have taken place in the meantime.”

(With PTI inputs)

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