October 1, 2018 2:22:22 am
The NDA government has extended the service of a retired judge — Justice RP Nagrath in this case — beyond the superannuating age of 65 years.
The Ministry of Corporate Affairs, after approval from the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, issued orders on September 20 giving a six-month extension to Nagrath who is Member (Judicial) in the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), Chandigarh.
The extension, the ministry said, was a “one time relaxation”. Nagrath was due to retire on September 15 on turning 65 years.
Section 413 of the Companies Act fixes the term of office of chairperson and members of all NCLTs at five years or 65 years, whichever is earlier. The act does not provide for any relief or exemption in the tenure beyond the superannuation age.
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The Ministry told NCLT registrar that Nagrath would continue to hold office until a regular incumbent is appointed to his post or until further orders, whichever is earlier, subject to the outcome of a 2016 petition in the Allahabad High Court which challenges the selection process of members of all NCLTs.
Surprisingly, the order is not in public domain as the website of Department of Personnel & Training has not hosted the extension order.
The NCLT bench at Chandigarh has jurisdiction over companies with registered offices in Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and Chandigarh.
At least 30 companies, including Amtek Auto, SRS Ltd and SEL Manufacturing, are undergoing insolvency proceedings before the bench.
Besides these, the bench is also hearing the sibling war in realty firm Omaxe Group, property dispute among Oswal brothers, Jagran Prakashan’s Jagran Engage petition against Torque Pharmaceuticals and a case filed by Noble Resources against Uttam Galva.
NCLT’s major functions are ordering an investigation into the affairs of a company without requiring an application of 100 members, cancelling the registration of a company and subsequently dissolving it, admitting class actions suits by depositors against a company, converting a public limited company into a private one and ordering freezing of assets of a company ahead of any investigation or scrutiny.
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