Unwilling to accept the reasons especially those relating to lack of space to transfer the 350 odd cases pending at the principal bench in Delhi and the prevailing pandemic, the first bench led by Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee said, “Let the country exist beyond NCR. The Constitution speaks of a federal structure. Delhi is not India and we hope we are loud enough.”
Also, on referring to the reluctance in transferring older cases from Delhi to the Chennai Bench of NCLAT, the Chief Justice wondered on the need for a record room. “Digitise them from day one. If you want excuses there can be hundreds of excuses, COVID is not the panacea for every kind of abuse of authorities, “ Chief Justice Banerjee held. He also noted that since the NCLAT Chennai Bench is at a nascent stage, modes of e-filing and a paperless form of adjudication should be adopted.
“Every effort should be made to start with digitisation as soon as possible so that minimum of hard copies needs to be preserved, ” the Chief justice held while seeking NCLAT, Chennai, to replicate the advanced system of digitisation in progress at the MHC so that preservation of papers after the completion of matter may be unnecessary. However, the Chief Justice, along with Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy on adjourning the case to after summer vacation since Centre’s affidavit was not given to the petitioners, sought the Centre to transfer older cases from NCLAT, Delhi to Chennai by the next hearing and also take a call on digitisation of records.