This is the third extension for Bhat since he was appointed as the officiating Chairperson of the NCLAT on March 15 for three months. Later, he was given a three-month extension from June 15 and the tenure was again extended for one month till October 16.
The NCLAT does not have a regular Chairperson since Justice S J Mukhopadhaya retired on March 15, 2020.
According to a notification issued by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, the tenure of Bhat along with judicial member Justice A I S Cheema has been extended till December 31, 2020.
“In continuation of this ministry’s notification… dated 12th March, 2020… the term of office of Justice Shri B L Bhat, Member (Judicial) as officiating Chairperson, NCLAT is extended up to 31st December, 2020 or until a regular Chairperson is appointed or until further orders, whichever is the earliest,” the notification issued on Wednesday said.
Bhat, a former Judge of the Jammu & Kashmir High Court, joined the NCLAT as a judicial member on October 17, 2017.
Prior to this appointment, he was a judicial member of the Armed Forces Tribunal and had presided over benches at Chandigarh, Shimla, Jaipur and Delhi.
Currently, the NCLAT like other judicial and quasi-judicial bodies is conducting virtual hearing of cases.
The NCLAT was constituted under the Companies Act, 2013 for hearing appeals against the orders of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT). It is also the appellate tribunal for appeals against orders passed by the NCLT under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) and by the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India.