Winding up of companies fall within the exclusive jurisdiction of NCLT: NCLAT

The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) reiterated that dispute relating to oppressional mismanagement and cases where winding up of companies may be required fall within the exclusive jurisdiction of National Company Law Tribunal and cannot be referred to arbitration.

Upholding the order of the National Company Law Board (Mumbai), the appellate body said, “…..On a plain reading of Section 242, it is manifestly clear that the facts should justify the making of a winding up order on just and equitable grounds. Admittedly, Arbitrator would have no jurisdiction to pass a winding up order on the ground that it is just and equitable which falls within the exclusive domain of the Tribunal under Section 271(e). That apart acts of non-service of notice of meetings, financial discrepancies and non-appointment of Directors being matters specifically dealt with under Companies Act and falling within the domain of the Tribunal to consider grant of relief under Section 242 of Companies Act render the dispute non-arbitrable…”

NCLAT further clarified that relief claimed needs to be looked into in every case to determine whether the same can be granted by an arbitrator before deciding whether a case could be referred to arbitration as generally a dispute arising out of breach of contractual obligations would be arbitrable.

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