In wake of the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent lockdown, the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has released a notice dated April 7, 2020, wherein the Tribunal has made an appeal to litigants and stakeholders involved in matters under Companies Act, 2013 and Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 to file Joint Memo of Written Submissions. The NCLT’s notification urging filing of Joint Memo of Written Submissions has been made in order to expedite the hearings pending with the Tribunal and to see to it that justice is not delayed in matters of urgent nature.
The NCLT has stated in the notice that litigants should avoid filing of reply and rejoinder and the Memo will now be a user-friendly document which will enable the Tribunal to arrive at a decision quickly.
Instructions for filing Joint memo of written submissions:
- The Applicants shall state all facts and reliefs in five to ten lines and the same shall be served upon the Opposite Party along with its application.
- -The Opposite Party, in response, shall brief their defence in five to ten lines and serve the same upon the Applicants within 24 to 48 hours.
- Upon exchange of brief facts, both the parties shall jointly draft the points for determination by NCLT.
- Based on the points for determination, both the parties shall separately set out reasons in support of their respective stands in two to three lines on each of the points for determination.
- Relevant Material Papers, if any, for determination of the points from either side, shall be annexed with the Joint Memo of Written Submissions which shall capsule all the above steps in two to three pages.
- After being signed by both the parties, this Joint Memo shall be filed one day before the date of hearing or at least six hours before hearing.
- If the opposite party does not appear even after service is affected upon him/them, the Applicant shall place brief facts, reliefs, relevant material papers and reasons for seeking reliefs in the form of this Memo one day before or six hours before the hearing date.
- The notice further clarified that in the event situation demands grant of ad-interim relief by NCLT even before filing this Memo, non-filing of this Memo will not become hindrance to NCLT in granting such relief.
- This procedure will avoid delays, avoid filing reply and rejoinder and this memo will be user friendly (all in one) to arrive to decisions quickly.