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Supreme Court extends tenure of NCLAT judicial member Justice AIS Cheema by three months

Justice Cheema's appointment as judicial member was made under the 2017 Rules on Qualification and Appointments for Tribunals, which have been struck down by the Supreme Court.

Shruti Mahajan

The Supreme Court on Monday extended the tenure of judicial member of the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal, Justice AIS Cheema, by three months.

Justice Chemma was scheduled to demit office on September 10.

Justice Cheema's appointment as judicial member was made under the 2017 Rules on Qualification and Appointments for Tribunals.

The Supreme Court Bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and Hemant Gupta was told by Senior Counsel Mukul Rohatgi on Monday that Justice Cheema's tenure is set to expire on September 10. As per the 2017 Rules, the tenure of members is three years.

(L-R) Justices L Nageswara Rao and Hemant Gupta
(L-R) Justices L Nageswara Rao and Hemant Gupta

However, these Rules have been struck down by the Supreme Court in its 2019 decision in the case of Rojer Mathew vs. South Indian Bank Ltd. & Ors. It was also brought to the Court's notice that the new Rules framed for appointments to Tribunals in 2020 have also been assailed and challenged before the Supreme Court by the Madras Bar Association.

In light of these facts, Rohatgi contended before the Court that Justice Cheema is entitled to continue as a judicial member for a period of five years or till he attains the age of 67, whichever is earlier, in conformity with the provisions of the Companies Act.

In view of this factual matrix, the Supreme Court, as an interim measure, extended Justice Cheema's tenure for a period of three months.

The petition filed by Madras Bar Association challenging the 2020 Rules as being against the principles of separation of powers is scheduled to come up for hearing before the Court on Tuesday, September 15.

Read Order:

CAT Bar Association vs UOI.pdf
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