In the wake of a tense confrontation between two key members of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) in Chandigarh, the Tribunal President has taken decisive action by withdrawing all cases from the involved bench and transferring them to another. The official announcement was made through a notification from the Registrar of the Tribunal on February 3.
The order stipulates the immediate transfer of proceedings for all pending cases from the contentious bench to an alternative bench within the Tribunal. However, the new bench has been instructed to promptly deliver orders on reserved matters.
The viral video capturing the intense exchange occurred during a January hearing and featured a three-minute clash between Member (Judicial) Dr Patibandla Satyanarayana Prasad and Member (Technical) Umesh Kumar Shukla. Prasad, a former legal adviser to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), was seen asserting his role as the controller of the court and advising Shukla to adjust his behavior.
Insiders revealed that this incident was not an isolated one, indicating a history of disagreements between the technical and judicial members in open court settings. Sources suggest that Shukla, hailing from a non-judicial background, encountered difficulties adapting to the judicial bench.
Legal experts shed light on the underlying dynamics, emphasizing the necessity for a nuanced approach while on the bench. They stressed the importance of caution and subtlety in questioning, especially for members transitioning from a technical background to a judicial role.
Moreover, practical challenges within the NCLT's Chandigarh Bench were brought to attention. Despite having two courts, only one courtroom is operational at a time – Court-1 in the morning, and Court-2 starting at 2 PM. This scheduling constraint has led to a desire for expedited case proceedings.
As the transferred cases await resolution in the new bench, the legal community watches closely for the Tribunal's response to ensure the smooth functioning and decorum of its proceedings.
Author: Anushka Taraniya
News Writer, MIT ADT University