New Delhi: The Supreme Court has asked the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT), which is not functioning after detection of a Covid case among its staff, to explore avenues to begin online hearings.
A bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra, S. Abdul Nazeer and Indira Banerjee said: “The doors of justice cannot be closed. Let NCLAT find out a way for online hearing in such a situation.”
The apex court made this observation while hearing a special leave petition where the petitioner’s counsel contended that he had filed an appeal against a National Company Law Tribunal order, but the NCLAT is not functioning after one of its employees was found Covid-19 positive.
The top court, while disposing of the petition, said: “We request the NCLAT to start the hearing of the matter on interim stay, immediately on reopening. The Special Leave Petition is dismissed accordingly.”
The NCLAT had suspended work after one of its employees was found Covid-19 positive on June 26. Before this, it was hearing urgent cases through video conferencing, which began from June 1 onwards. It had also issued Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for advocate or authorised representative for ‘mentioning’ the matter for hearing through video conferencing.
On 2nd July, the NCLAT informed, through a notice, that the virtual hearing and filing etc. would remain suspended till July 10. And, matters listed between July 6-10, in the court of chairperson and court-II would not be taken.