SC expunges remarks by NCLAT five-judge Bench against three of its sitting members

SC expunges remarks by NCLAT five-judge Bench against three of its sitting members

Taking exception to the remarks made in the five-member Bench, the three NCLAT members—Justice (retd) JK Jain, Bavinder Singh and Vijay Pratap Singh, had moved the top court. Tribune file

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 19

The Supreme Court on Friday expunged remarks made against three sitting members of the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) by a five-judge Bench headed by acting chairperson Justice Bansi Lal Bhat.

“We have gone through the case. We will straightway expunge. Observations made against members of the tribunal stands expunged from the record,” a Bench headed by Justice Rohinton F Nariman said at the very outset.

NCLAT members Justice (retd) JK Jain, Bavinder Singh and Vijay Pratap Singh had on September 25 last year referred a case relating to entry of book of accounts and acknowledgement of debt by a company to a five-member bench headed by NCLAT acting chairperson Justice Bansi Lal Bhat.

Later, the five-member Bench had remarked that the referral judgment adopted “cut-paste methodology” and embarked on a “painful misadventure” to refer the matter to the five-member Bench.

Taking exception to these remarks made in the five-member Bench, the three NCLAT members—Justice (retd) JK Jain, Bavinder Singh and Vijay Pratap Singh, had moved the top court.

“We are with you,” the top court told the petitioners while expunging the impugned remarks.

The petitioners contended that they had only acknowledged the position in law that the larger Bench was competent enough to consider the earlier verdict on the issue.

It was a well-settled law that the larger Bench must not venture into making personal comments against members of the referral Bench only because it finds the reference order was not maintainable or not in accordance with the law, they had submitted.

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