Supreme Court Challenges NCDRC Over Non-Bailable Warrants Against Appellant-Company Directors

Supreme Court queries NCDRC for issuing warrants against appellant-company directors despite prior stay order. Stay granted until further notice.

In a recent legal development, the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) has come under scrutiny from the Supreme Court for its decision to issue non-bailable warrants against the directors of an appellant-company. Despite a prior order by the Supreme Court directing a stay on coercive actions against the directors, the NCDRC proceeded to take action, prompting the apex court's intervention.

On 1st March 2024, the Supreme Court issued an order directing a stay on any coercive steps against the directors of the appellant-company in Execution Application No. 576 of 2022 filed by the respondent in Consumer Complaint No. 773 of 2019. However, the NCDRC, on 8th March 2024, instructed the learned counsel for the appellant-company to file an affidavit of compliance regarding the execution of the decree passed in Consumer Complaint No. 773 of 2019 within two weeks.

Subsequently, on 2nd April 2024, the NCDRC proceeded to issue non-bailable warrants against the directors of the appellant-company, returnable on 26th April 2024. This action by the NCDRC has been met with opposition from Mr. Ranjit Kumar, the learned Senior Counsel representing the appellant-company. He argued that the NCDRC's decision to issue non-bailable warrants contradicted the protection granted by the Supreme Court's order on 1st March 2024.

In response to Mr. Kumar's objections, the Supreme Court issued a notice to the Presiding Member and the Member of the NCDRC, calling upon them to explain how the order to issue non-bailable warrants was passed on 2nd April 2024. The Supreme Court deemed it necessary to understand the circumstances surrounding the NCDRC's decision, particularly in light of the existing stay order.

The Supreme Court's notice also stipulated that a reply to the notice to show cause should be filed within one week. Additionally, a copy of the Supreme Court's order was dispatched to the NCDRC, and Mr. Kumar, representing the appellant-company, was tasked with ensuring that the NCDRC was duly informed of the order and urged to comply.

Pending further proceedings and a resolution to the current impasse, the Supreme Court ordered a stay on the operation of the NCDRC's order and any subsequent actions in Execution Application No. 576 of 2022 in Consumer Complaint No. 773 of 2019. The matter has been listed for further hearing on 24th April 2024.