The NCLT has appealed to the litigants and stakeholders under the Companies Act, 2013 and IBC, 2016 to file Joint Memo of Written Statements (WS) to expedite virtual hearings and for dispensation of justice without any delay during the Novel Coronavirus, COVID-19 lockdown. It has stated that the Memo will be a user-friendly document that will help to arrive at decisions quickly and to avoid the filing of reply and re-joinder.
Following are the broad guidelines with respect to the filing of Joint Memo of Written Statements, as per the notice issued on 7TH April 2020:
- The Applicants shall state facts in five to ten lines, as well as the reliefs, and serve the same upon the Opposite Party along with its application.
- The Opposite Party, in turn, shall brief their defense 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 the NCLT.
- Based on the points for determination, both the parties shall separately set out reasons in support for their respective stands in two or three lines on each of the points for determination.
- If there are any Relevant Material Papers, for determination of the points from either side, it shall be annexed with the Joint Memo of WS which shall contain all the above-mentioned 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 the hearing or at least six hours before the hearing.
- If the opponent does not appears even after the 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 the date of hearing.
It has also been clarified that if the situation demands a grant of ad-interim relief by the NCLT even before filing of this Memo, the non-filing of this Memo will not be a hindrance to the Adjudicating Authority in granting such relief.