POWER AND FUNCTION OF NATIONAL COMPANY LAW TRIBUNAL


 In last we discussed constitution of National Company Law Tribunal and Appellate tribunal. Now, it comes to power and function of the Tribunal.

BENCHES OF TRIBUNAL (SECTION 419):

The Central Government may notification decide the number of Benches of the Tribunal.

The Principal Bench of the Tribunal shall be at New Delhi and shall be presided over by the President.

The Power of Tribunal shall be exercisable by Benches consisting of two members out of whom one shall be a Judicial Member and another Technical Member. However, Tribunal may authorise a single Judicial Member bench to exercise certain matters by general or special order. However, at any stage the Member may refer the matter to President to transfer to a two Member Bench.

The President may constitute one of more Special Benches consisting of three or more Members with majority of Judicial Members.

The Decision shall be made according to the Majority.

ORDERS OF TRIBUNAL (SECTION 420):

The Tribunal may after giving reasonable opportunity to the parties to the proceeding, pass any order as it thinks fit.

The Tribunal may, at any time within two years from the date of the order may rectify any mistake, if the mistake brought to its notice. No rectification shall be made in an order against which an appeal has been preferred.

The Tribunal shall send a copy of every order passed to all the parties concerned.

APPEAL FROM ORDER OF TRIBUNAL (SECTION 421):

Any person aggrieved by an order of the Tribunal may prefer an appeal to the Appellate Tribunal.

No appeal shall lie to the Appellate Tribunal from a consent order.

Every appeal shall be filed within a period of forty – five days from the date on which a copy of the order of the Tribunal is made available to the person aggrieved. The Appellate Tribunal may entertain an appeal after the expiry of initial forty – five days but within a further period of forty – five days. The Appellate Tribunal must be satisfied that the appellant was prevent by sufficient cause from filing the appeal within that period.

On receipt of an appeal, the Appellate Tribunal shall, after giving the parties to the appeal a reasonable opportunity of being heard, pass order as it think fit.

The Appellate Tribunal shall send a copy of every order made by it to the Tribunal and the parties to appeal.

EXPEDITIOUS DISPOSAL (SECTION 422):

Every application or petition presented before the tribunal an every appeal filed before the Appellate Tribunal shall be disposed of expeditiously and every endeavour shall be made to dispose of within three month from the date of presentation or filing.

The Tribunal or Appellate Tribunal shall record the reason for not disposing the application or petition or appeal within this period. The president or Chairperson may extend the period for not exceeding ninety days.

APPEAL TO SUPREME COURT (SECTION 423):

Any person aggrieved by an order of the Appellate Tribunal may file an appeal to the Supreme Court within sixty days from the date of receipt of the Appellate Tribunal to him on any question of law arising out of such order.

The Supreme Court may allow it to be filed within a further period not exceeding sixty days. If, it is satisfied, that the appellant was prevented by sufficient cause from filing the appeal with this period.

PROCEDURE (SECTION 424):

The Tribunal and Appellate Tribunal shall not bound by the procedure laid down in the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 but shall be guided by the principles of natural justice.

The Tribunal and the Appellate Tribunal shall have the same powers as of civil court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 while trying a suit in respect of following matters, namely –

(a)  summoning and enforcing the attendance of any person and examining him on oath;

(b) requiring the discovery and production of documents;

(c)  receiving evidence of affidavits;

(d)  requisitioning any public record or document or a copy of such record or document;

(e)  issuing commissions for the examination of witness or documents;

(f)   setting aside any order of dismissal of any representation for default or any order passed by it ex parte; and

(g)  any other prescribed matter.

Any order made by the Tribunal or Appellate Tribunal may be enforced by that Tribunal as if it were a decree made by a court in a suit pending therein. The Tribunal o Appellate Tribunals may send its order for execution to the court within the local limits of jurisdiction –

(a)  the registered office of the company is situated; or

(b) the person concerned voluntarily resides or carries on business or personally works for gain.

All proceedings before the Tribunal or Appellate Tribunal shall be deemed to be judicial proceedings within the meaning and purpose of Sections 193, 196 and 228 of Indian penal Code. The Tribunal and Appellate Tribunal shall be deemed to be civil court for the purpose of Section 195 and Chapter XXVI of the Code of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973.

POWER TO PUNISH CONTEMPT (SECTION 425):

The Tribunal and the Appellate Tribunal shall have same jurisdiction, powers and authority in respect of Contempt of themselves as the High Court has under the provision of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971.

DELEGATION OF POWERS (SECTION 426):

The Tribunal or Appellate Tribunal may by general or special order direct any of its officers or employee or any other person to inquire into any matter connected with any proceeding or appeal before it and to report to it.

TRIBUNAL MEMBERS ECT TO BE PUBLIC SERVANTS (SECTION 427):

The President, Members, officers and other employees of the Tribunal and the Chairperson, Members, officers and other employees of the Appellate Tribunal shall be deemed to be public servants under Section 21 of the Indian Penal Code.

PROTECTION OF ACTION TAKEN IN GOOD FAITH (SECTION 428):

No suit, prosecution or other legal proceeding shall lie against the Tribunal, the President, Member, officer or other employee thereof or against the Appellate Tribunal, the Chairperson, Member, Officer or other employees thereof or liquidator or any other authorised person for the discharge of any function under this Act in respect of any loss or damage caused or likely to be caused by any act which is in good faith done in pursuance of this Act.

POWER TO SEEK ASSISTANCE (SECTION 429):

The Tribunal may in order to take into custody or under its control all property, books of account or other documents request in writing the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Chief Judicial Magistrate or District Collector within whose jurisdiction any such property, books of account or other documents of a company are situate or found to take possession thereof. The magistrate or collector shall –

(a)  take possession of such property, books of account or other documents; and

(b) cause the same to be entrusted to the Tribunal or other person authorised by it.

The Magistrate or Collector may take steps and use force as may be necessary. No such act shall be called in question on any court or before any authority on any ground whatsoever.

CIVIL COURT NOT TO HAVE JURISDICTION (SECTION 430):

No civil court shall have jurisdiction to entertain any suit or proceeding in respect of any matter which the Tribunal or the Appellate Tribunal is empowered to determine by or under this Act or any other law for the time being in force.

VACANCY NOT TO INVALIDATE (SECTION 431):

No act or proceeding of the Tribunal or the Appellate Tribunal shall be questioned or shall be invalid merely on the ground of the existence of any vacancy or defect in the constitution of the Tribunal or the Appellate Tribunal.

RIGHT TO LEGAL REPRESENTATION (SECTION 432):

A party to any proceeding or appeal before the Tribunal or the Appellate Tribunal, as the case may be, may either appear in person or authorise one or more chartered accountants or company secretaries or cost accountants or legal practitioners or any other person to present his case before the Tribunal or the Appellate Tribunal.

LIMITATION (SECTION 433):

The provisions of the Limitation Act, 1963 shall apply to proceedings or appeals before the Tribunal or the Appellate Tribunal.

TRANSFER OF CERTAIN PROCEEDINGS (SECTION 434):

The Central Government may by notification decide date to transfer following proceedings –

(a)  All matters, proceedings or cases before the Company Law Board immediately before the notified date shall transfer to the Tribunal;

(b) All proceedings including arbitration, compromise, arrangement, reconstruction and winding up, pending before any District Court or High Court shall stand transferred to the Tribunal from Notified date;

(c)  Any reference or inquiry pending before the Board of Industrial and Financial Reconstruction or any appeal or proceeding before Appellate Authority for Industrial and financial Reconstruction shall stand abated. The company may make such reference or appeal before the Tribunal within one hundred and eighty days.

Please note: I welcome your comments and feedback. This blog post is not a professional advice. Readers may share this post on social media by using buttons given here.

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