The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) has suspended work till July 10 due to sealing of its premises after finding one of its staff COVID-19 positive. The tribunal in a notice dated July 2 said all court works, including the virtual hearing of cases and filing, would remain suspended as some members of the staff have come in direct contact with the affected person.
"A staff member was reported to have tested positive for COVID-19 on June 26, 2020, which mandated further sanitisation and sealing of the premises of this Appellate Tribunal and suspension of work till July 3, 2020," the notice by the registrar said.
It further said that some staff members have come in direct contact with the affected person, warranting following of the mandatory norms in terms of the guidelines issued by the government for ensuring the personal safety of all concerned and to prevent any peril or hazard to human life.
The notice said that it has been decided to extend the suspension of court work to enable all concerned to observe home quarantine.
The tribunal said after one of its staff members was tested positive on June 26, its "acting chairperson, members, officers of the registry and the staff of this appellate tribunal coming in contact with the affected official, directly or otherwise, were subjected to COVID-19 test".
After collection of their nasal swabs by a team of doctors from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on June 29 and 30, 2020, one of them tested positive.
"It is accordingly notified that the court work (virtual hearing) and filing etc, in the NCLAT will remain suspended till July 10, 2020," it said.
Like other judicial/quasi-judicial bodies, the NCLAT was conducting virtual hearing of urgent matters through video conferencing, which was started during the lockdown.
In May, the NCLAT had announced to cancel its summer vacation this year to cover the shortfall in working days due to closure during the lockdown.
The NCLAT is presently headed by Justice Bansi Lal Bhat, who was appointed as the officiating chairperson of the appellate tribunal in March this year.
The NCLAT was constituted under Section 410 of the Companies Act, 2013 for hearing appeals against the orders of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT). It is also the appellate tribunal for hearing appeals against orders passed by NCLT under the IBC and Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India.
It is also the appellate tribunal to hear and dispose of appeals against any order passed by the Competition Commission of India (CCI).