On June 1, 2016, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (‘MCA’) notified the constitution of the National Company Law Tribunal (‘NCLT’) and the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (‘NCLAT’) with immediate effect. The rules in this regard are yet to be notified. The NCLT will initially have 11 branches – two in New Delhi (one of which will be the principal bench) and one each in Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Allahabad, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Chennai, Guwahati, Hyderabad and Kolkata.
With the above notification, the erstwhile Company Law Board (‘CLB’) constituted under CA 1956 stands dissolved and all the cases pending before CLB, except for matters relating to winding up, compromise, amalgamation and capital reduction, stand immediately transferred to NCLT. The establishment of NCLT consolidates the corporate jurisdiction of the following authorities: (i) CLB; (ii) Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (‘BIFR’); (iii) Appellate Authority for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction; and (iv) jurisdiction and powers relating to winding up, restructuring and other such provisions, vested in High Courts (‘HCs’).
Matters relating to the investigation of a company’s accounts, freezing of assets, class action suits, oppression and mismanagement and conversion of a public company to a private company will now be governed by the NCLT, and appeal therefrom would be before the NCLAT instead of the HCs.