NCLAT acting chief exit case concerns ‘premature’ replacement: CJI

He asks AG to get instructions from govt and be present when court takes up plea on Sept. 16

Chief Justice of India (CJI) N.V. Ramana on Wednesday requested Attorney General K.K. Venugopal to get instructions from the government and be present when the court takes up a petition on September 16 regarding the exit of Justice A.I.S. Cheema as Acting Chairperson of the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT).

Senior advocate Arvind Datar had orally mentioned the issue before the CJI Bench on September 14.

Addressing the Attorney General, Chief Justice Ramana said the case concerned the “premature” replacement of Justice Cheema as Acting Chairperson of the NCLAT days before the end of his tenure on September 20.

The CJI said it appeared as if the government department concerned had acted “hurriedly”. “I do not how this is happening…” he observed.

Justice M. Venugopal, a former Madras High Court judge, replaced Justice Cheema as Acting Chairperson of the NCLAT with effect from September 11.

Justice Venugopal, a judicial member at Chennai Bench of the NCLAT, is the third Acting Chairperson of the Tribunal since the retirement of the regular NCLAT Chairperson, Justice S.J. Mukhopadhaya, in March last year.

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