The National Company Law Tribunal is a quasi-judicial body in India, responsible for adjudicating issues relating to Indian companies. The National Company Law Tribunal was established under the Companies Act 2013. The NCLT has the power to adjudicate proceedings which were initiated before the Company Law Board under the Companies Act 2013.Along with it it has the power to adjudicate the proceedings which are pending before the Appellate authority for Industrial and Financial reconstruction, proceedings pending before the Board for industrial and financial reconstruction including those pending under the Sick Industrial Companies Act,1985 and the proceedings pertaining to claims of oppression and mismanagement of a company, winding up companies and all other powers prescribed under the Companies Act.
Powers of National Company Law Tribunal:
Orders of Tribunal: The Tribunal may, after giving reasonable opportunity to the parties to the proceeding, pass any order as it thinks fit.
Procedure: The Tribunal and Appellate Tribunal shall not be bound by the procedures laid down by the Code of Civil Procedure,1908,while trying a suit in respect of matters such as summoning and enforcing the attendance of any person and examining him under oath, requiring the discovery and production of documents, receiving evidence of affidavits, re-questioning any public record or document or a copy of such record or document, issuing commissions for the examination of witness or documents, setting aside any order of dismissal of any representation for default or any order passed by an ex parte or any other prescribed matter.
Power to punish contempt: The Tribunal and the Appellate Tribunal shall have same jurisdiction, powers and authority in respect of contempt of themselves as the High Court has under the provision of The Contempt of Courts Act, 1971.
Delegation of powers: The Tribunal and the Appellate Tribunal may by general or special order direct any of its officers or employee or any other person to inquire into any matter connected with any proceeding or appeal before it and report to it.
Power to seek assistance: The Tribunal, may, in order to take into custody books of accounts or other documents, request, in writing, to the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Chief Judicial Magistrate or District Collector within whose jurisdiction any such property, books of accounts or other documents of a company are found to take possession thereof.
Power to De-register the companies in certain circumstances when registration of companies is obtained in an illegal or wrongful manner.
Powers to direct the company- To reopen its accounts or allow the company to revise its financial statement but do not permit reopening of accounts. The company can itself also approach the Tribunal through its director for revision of its financial statement.
Power to investigate or for initiating investigation proceedings– An investigation can be conducted even abroad. Provisions are provided to assist investigation agencies and courts of other countries with respect to investigation proceedings.
Power to Convert Public limited company into private limited company.
Power to investigate into the ownership of the company.
Power to freeze assets of the company.
Power to impose restriction on any securities of the company
Vacancy not to invalidate: No act or proceeding of the Tribunal or Appellate Tribunal shall be questioned or shall be invalid merely on the basis of existence of any vacancy or defect in the constitution of the Tribunal or the Appellate Tribunal.
No Civil Court shall have jurisdiction to entertain any suit or proceeding in respect of any matter which the Tribunal or the Appellate Tribunal is empowered to determine by or under this Act or under any other law for the time being in force.
In addition to the above powers, the NCLT also has the powers to freeze the assets of a company, investigate into the ownership of a company. Direct a company to reopen its accounts, de-register a company.
Currently, the NCLT has eleven benches which include two in Delhi, one each in Ahmedabad, Allahabad, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Chennai, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Mumbai.
The following are the jurisdiction of the benches of the National Company Law Tribunal:
1. NCLT, principal bench and NCLT, New Delhi Bench
Jurisdiction: Union territory of Delhi, State of Haryana, State of Rajasthan.
2. NCLT, Ahmedabad Bench
Jurisdiction: State of Gujarat, State of Madhya Pradesh, Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Union Territory of Daman and Diu.
3. NCLT, Allahabad Bench
Jurisdiction: State of Uttar Pradesh, State of Uttarakhand.
4. NCLT, Bengaluru Bench
Jurisdiction: State of Karnataka
5. NCLT, Chandigarh Bench
Jurisdiction: State of Himachal Pradesh, State of Jammu and Kashmir, State of Punjab, Union territory of Chandigarh.
6. NCLT, Chennai Bench
Jurisdiction: State of Kerala, State of Tamil Nadu, Union Territory of Lakshadweep, Union Territory of Puducherry.
7. NCLT, Guwahati Bench
Jurisdiction: State of Arunachal Pradesh, State of Assam, State of Manipur, State of Mizoram, State of Nagaland, State of Meghalaya, State of Tripura, State of Sikkim.
8. NCLT, Hyderabad Bench
Jurisdiction: State of Andhra Pradesh, State of Telangana.
9. NCLT, Kolkata Bench
Jurisdiction: State of Bihar, State of Jharkhand, State of West Bengal, Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar.
10. NCLT, Mumbai Bench
Jurisdiction: State of Chhattisgarh, State of Maharashtra, State of Goa.
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