New Delhi: National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) Chairperson Justice AIS Cheema resumed office Friday. Justice Cheema joined office a day after the government conceded before the Supreme Court that he will be permitted to continue to chair the appellate tribunal till September 20. The government had prematurely superannuated Justice Cheema on September 11. The cause list of the NCLAT has listed a matter in the Court of Chairperson before a two-member bench headed by Justice Cheema.
As per the current protocol, the hearing is to be conducted virtually by the bench. Technical Member VP Singh is the other member of the bench.
Justice Cheema was appointed September 11, 2017 as a Judicial Member of NCLAT. He became its Officiating Chairperson from April 19, 2021. His tenure, which was to end September 20, was abruptly terminated on September 10. Justice M Venugopal was made the Acting Chairperson of the appellate tribunal with effect from September 11.
The move was challenged by Justice Cheema before the apex court. The government, Thursday, before the Supreme Court conceded and said he would be permitted to continue in office till September 20 to pronounce verdicts.
During the hearing, the Supreme Court also warned the government that the Tribunal Reforms Act of 2021 would be stayed suo motu.
However, the NCLAT website is still showing Justice M Venugopal as the Acting Chairperson and Justice Cheema as former Acting Chairperson.
Justice Cheema started his career as a practising advocate at Akola District, Maharashtra in September 1977. He then joined the state judicial services and served in different capacities. He was Registrar General of the High Court of Bombay and also served as a Registrar of the Supreme Court from November 1999 to April 2007. Later, he was elevated as Judge of the High Court of Bombay in May 2013 and superannuated in September 2016.
NCLAT continues to be without a permanent head for more than one-and-a-half years.
Justice M Venugopal is a former judge of the High Court of Madras. He had joined as a Sub-Judge in Tamil Nadu State Judicial Service on June 5, 1997 and later was elevated to high court in November 2007, where he had served for eleven-and-a-half years.