Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday virtually inaugurated the Chennai Bench of the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT).
This will be the second NCLAT Bench in the country, after the Principal Bench in New Delhi. The Chennai Bench, located at Ezhilagam Annexe, Chepauk, was supposed to function from last year, but was held up by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The NCLAT has jurisdiction over matters under the Companies Act, the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code and the Competition Commission of India. The Chennai Bench started hearing cases virtually from Monday. Fresh appeals against the orders of the Benches of the tribunal having jurisdiction in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and the Union Territories of Lakshadweep and Puducherry will have to be filed before the Chennai Bench.
“The southern States normally do have this feeling that to seek justice they travel too far. Because access to justice in terms of physical access has always been a challenge to the southern States, which are so far and distantly placed, like the way the northeastern States feel from Delhi,” Ms. Sitharaman said in her address.
She said establishing the second Bench to address the needs of the southern States and the Union Territories of Lakshadweep and Puducherry was a major step.
Justice Bansi Lal Bhat, acting Chairperson, NCLAT; Rajesh Verma, Secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs; and Justice Venugopal M, judicial member, and Balvinder Singh, technical member of the NCLAT Chennai Bench, were present.