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The Delhi High Court today issued notice in petition by Rajasekhar VK, Member (Judicial), National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) challenging the transfer orders issued by BSV Prakash Kumar, Acting President of National Company Law Tribunal in April and May.
While issuing notice to the Central Government, Registrar of NCLT and other Respondents, a Single Judge Bench of Justice V Kameswar Rao has sought counter-affidavits in the matter in one week.
Vide orders issued on April 30 and May 12, the Acting President had shuffled the posting of the NCLT Members. While the Petitioner was transferred from NCLT Mumbai to NCLT Kolkata, the Acting President transferred himself from NCLT Chennai to NCLT Mumbai.
It is Rajasekhar VK's case that these transfer orders are illegal, malicious, biased and without any jurisdiction.
Rajasekhar VK (Petitioner) has contended that the transfer orders are in violation of statutory provisions and the rules of transfers, specifically Rule 15A of NCLT (Salary, Allowances & other Terms and Conditions of Service of President and other Members) Rules, 2015.
It is argued that in the absence of any consultation/order passed by the Central Government, through the Ministry of Law & Justice, the orders of transfer of NCLT Members are illegal and contrary to the decision of the Supreme Court in UOI vs Madras Bar Association.
Given the lockdown and absence of a Presdient, there were no compelling circumstances for the issuance of the transfer orders either, the Petitioner has said.
The Petitioner has also raised objections with respect to the Acting President first holding court from Chennai and then transfering himself to Mumbai. It is said that this conduct is in violation of Section 419(2) of the Companies Act, 2013, the President ought to preside over the Principal Bench at New Delhi.
Seeking that an eligible Member be appointed as the Acting President, in place of BSV Prakash Kumar, the Petitioner has pointed out that Kumar was not High Court Judge and was thus not eligible to be appointed as President.
The matter would be heard next on June 12.
The Petitioner was represented by Advocate Vandana Sehgal.