Gujarat High Court refuses relief in plea by former NCLT member for reappointment

The division bench found that the petitioner's case could, at best, be considered along with other aspiring candidates in accordance with law and on its own merits.

The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday disposed of a plea filed by retired judicial member of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), Manorama Kumari seeking her reappointment to the post [Manorama Kumari v Union Of India].

Justices NV Anjaria and Sandeep N Bhatt emphasised that merely because the petitioner had shown her willingness to be considered and opted for reappointment did not entitle her to seek a writ from the court.

The petitioner's case could be at the best considered along with other aspiring candidates in accordance with law and on its own merits,” the division bench clarified.

The Court, however, added that authorities shall act in accordance with law if there are vacancies available.

It is respectfully observed that the directions of the Supreme Court in the aforementioned orders shall be complied with in their letter and spirit.”

The petitioner had held office as NCLT member for five years starting in June 2016. She had demitted office on June 5, 2021.

She then expressed her willingness to continue in the position for another five years. Pursuant to this, a petition was filed seeking timely completion of reappointment.

It was submitted that expeditious appointments is the bedrock for independence of judicial institutions.

The petitioner placed reliance on the judgment of the Supreme Court in National Company Law Tribunal and Appellate Tribunal Bar Association vs. Ministry of Corporate Affairs wherein the top court addressed its concerns about the avoidable delay in filling up the vacancies in the NCLT.

This prayer was rejected by the Court stating that such direction could not be granted.

Additionally, the bench also refused the second prayer of the petitioner seeking formation of policy that appointments ought to be rational and transparent.

It has to be only stated in this regard that the authorities cannot be presumed to be not alive to sub-serve the interests of NCLT and act in accordance with the directions of the Supreme Court as above," the order elaborated.

With this, the petition was disposed of.

Senior Advocate Percy Kavina, advocates Vishal J Dave and Nipun Singhvi appeared for the petitioner.

[Read Order]

Manorama Kumari v Union Of India.pdf
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