Highest number of cos, CAs, CS’, advocates located in the city , Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) opposed establishment of the bench in Gwalior.

Indore : A large number of company secretaries, chartered accountants and advocates have opposed the move of setting up a bench of National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) in Gwalior, replacing the original plan of establishment of the bench in the city. They have demanded that owing to all criteria a bench of NCLT must be set up in the city only, where more than half of the state’s company secretaries (CS’), chartered accountants, (CAs) and companies are present.

Companies Act 2013 has enabling provisions for establishment of nine benches of NCLT, a specialised dedicated high court level court, to provide single window judicial forum for speedy disposal of cases of investors, corporate bodies and other stakeholders. At present the interest of them is being looked after by three bodies, i.e. Company Law Board (CLB), Board for Industrial & Financial Reconstruction (BIFR) and High Courts.

To serve objective of parliament, which enacted NCLT provisions, criterion for setting-up of NCLT bench highlights that it must be established at places where there are large number of companies and investor forums are situated and where there are enough qualified professionals having relevant experience like CS, CA, senior counsels. Legally only these are authorised to appear before a bench of NCLT.

CSs, CAs and advocates said that till the year 2012, ministry of corporate affairs proposed to set up a bench of NCLT in Indore along with nine other cities of the country. But in 2013 it was proposed to establish in Gwalior instead of Indore due to unknown reasons.

Sources informed that Indore is a natural claimant to have a bench of NCLT here due to certain solid facts and figures.

Being the commercial capital and business hub of central India the city consists of approximately 15000 (about 60% of total companies registered in MP) companies out of 25000 companies registered in MP. Whereas, in Gwalior merely 1200 companies (hardly 0.5% of total number of companies registered in MP) belong to the region. Around 2500 (50% of total in MP) CA and 350 (70% of total in MP) CS are located in Indore region. In addition 2000 advocates with relevant experience are practicing in the city. Whereas, in Gwalior region are hardly 500 (10% of total in MP) CAs and 30 (about 5% total of MP) CS’ are practicing.

The NCLT also needs full-fledged office of the Official Liquidator (OL) which is also situated in Indore. Office of Registrar of Companies (RoC) is not that much relevant for NCLT, which is in Gwalior. It is a fact that shifting NCLT from Indore to Gwalior would adversely affect around 15000 companies, about 5000 professionals and thousands of investors who are mainly concentrated in the region of Indore.

Indore naturally deserves the setting-up of a bench of National Company Law Tribunal in terms of all criteria. Highest number of companies registered in MP, highest number of CAs, CS’ and advocates are practicing in the city. Thus, the city deserves more than Gwalior the setting up of a bench of NCLT.