Madras High Court directs NCLAT Chennai to put every effort to start with digitization
The Madras High Court directed the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) – Chennai Bench to put every effort to start with digitization after the Union submitted that owing to space constraints where the Chennai Bench was to function and also COVID related problems, the Centre had made temporary order for new matters only to be taken up by the NCLAT at Chennai.
Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee along with Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy slammed the Central Govt. for being reluctant to transfer old cases lying pending before the principal bench of the NCLAT, Chennai, even though it is formed for the said purpose.
The Court referred to the apparent reluctance in transferring older cases from Delhi to the Chennai Bench of NCLAT.
The HC commented that every effort should be made to start with digitization as soon as possible so that the minimum of hard copies needs to be preserved.
Key points of the order passed by the HC are mentioned below-
1. 350 matters which otherwise ought to be taken up by Chennai Bench will be made ready for transportation before the matter is taken up next upon the COVID situation improving.
2. As to constraints of space, every effort should be made to start with digitization as soon as possible so that the minimum of hard copies need to be preserved and preservation would only be in the form of digital records withmetadata linked.
3. There is also an advanced system of digitization that has been embarked upon in the HC.
4. If necessary the Chennai bench of NCLAT may replicate the same so that preservation of papers after the completion of matter may not be necessary.
The Court adjourned the case to 9 June 2021 as the Centre's counter-affidavit was not given to the petitioners and urged the Centre to consider transferring of older cases from NCLAT, Delhi to NCLAT Chennai by the next hearing, and also take a call on digitization of records.