The government has appointed a total of 15 judicial and technical members at the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), which is grappling with a shortage of judges. The NCLT adjudicates matters related to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) and companies law.
As many as 9 judicial members and 6 technical members have been appointed to the NCLT, according to an official order. These members have been appointed for a period of five years from the date of taking charge or till they attain the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
Former Madras High Court Judge Justice (Retd) T Krishna Valli, former Allahabad High Court Judge Justice (Retd) Vikas Kunvar Srivastav, Senior Government Advocate at the Department of Legal Affairs Mahendra Khandelwal, CAT Judicial Member Bidisha Banerjee, advocates Praveen Gupta and Ashok Kumar Bhardwaj are among the judicial members.
Others are Retd District Judge – Punjab Kuldip Kumar Kareer, Retd District Judge – Gautam Budh Nagar Vishesh Sharma and District Court Judge in Commercial Court, Delhi Higher Judicial Service Sanjiv Jain.
The technical members are Chartered Accountant Prabhat Kumar; UCO Bank’s former Executive Director Charan Singh; former Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) Member Anu Jagmohan Singh; Retd Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax Ashish Verma; former Director and Head of AML Compliance at CitiBank India Madhu Sinha; and former Secretary at the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying Atul Chaturvedi (IAS (Retd)), as per the order dated November 5.
The NCLT has a total of 28 benches, with a sanctioned strength of 63 members. This includes 31 each from the judicial and administrative sides along with its president, who heads the principal bench in New Delhi.
In October, NCLT President Chief Justice (Retd) Ramalingam Sudhakar said the scope of adjudication under IBC has been rewarding and result oriented despite “several apparent and noticeable shortcomings like periodical reduction of members, presently 28 out of 63, and infrastructure which requires to be improved in metropolitan cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata.” The tribunal is also facing shortage of support staff, including court masters, officers, assistant registrars and stenographers.