The Ministry of Corporate Affairs is mulling to increase the number of benches at the National Company Law Tribunal from 11 to 24 amid rising number of insolvency cases coming up before the tribunal, a senior government official said. “Ideally, the number of NCLT benches should match the number of high courts in the country. Based on the case load, there is a definite plan to have new benches,” the official said.
Currently, about 9,000 cases are pending before the NCLT benches in the country for insolvency and other routine matters. More than 5,000 cases are in Mumbai and about 2,100 are in New Delhi. “The government is concerned that things should move faster (on NPA resolution), and so if there are more cases, they will have more benches,” the official said.
According to government data, till March 31, 2018, as many as 701 corporates had been admitted into resolution process, of which 67 were closed on appeal or review, 22 resulted in resolution, while 87 yielded liquidations. Around 173 corporate persons initiated voluntary liquidation. Also, more than Rs 4 lakh crore worth non-performing assets have come up for resolution under the code, officials said.
The central government has constituted the NCLT under Section 408 of the Companies Act, 2013 (18 of 2013) with effect from June 1, 2016. In the first phase, the MCA has set up eleven benches, one principal bench in New Delhi and one regional bench each in New Delhi, Ahmedabad, Allahabad, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Chennai, Guwahati, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Mumbai.Matters related to companies law as well as the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) come up before the tribunal. A case is admitted for resolution under the code only after approval from the NCLT.