Showing posts with label NCLAT. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NCLAT. Show all posts

Thursday, June 7, 2018

whether the NCLAT can dismiss a statutory appeal?

 On 18 May 2018, in M/s B Himmatlal Agrawal (Appellant) v Competition Commission of India (CCI) and Anr. [Civil Appeal No. 5029 of 2018], the Supreme Court of India (Supreme Court) distinguished the decision of the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) while disposing of a statutory appeal under the Competition Act, 2002 (Competition Act).

The issue before the Supreme Court was whether the NCLAT can dismiss a statutory appeal for non-compliance of its interlocutory direction to deposit a portion of the penalty as a condition for grant of interim relief. In this instant case, the Supreme Court set aside part of the NCLAT's order and restored the appeal that had been dismissed by the NCLAT. 

Background

The CCI found the Appellant guilty of rigging the bids for tenders floated by Western Coalfields Limited and correspondingly imposed a penalty of INR 3,61,00,000, which was ordered to be deposited within 60 days (CCI Order). The Appellant filed an appeal before the NCLAT against the CCI Order, seeking inter alia a stay of the penalty deposit. In response, the NCLAT granted a stay against the CCI Order (NCLAT Stay Order), with a condition that the Appellant was to deposit a sum equal to 10% of the total penalty (Deposit). However, the Appellant was unable to execute the Deposit due to financial distress. Consequently, the NCLAT dismissed the appeal on the ground of non-compliance with the NCLAT Stay Order. Being aggrieved, the Appellant filed an appeal against the NCLAT's decision before the Supreme Court.

Decision of the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court recognised that the right to appeal is provided under Section 53B of the Competition Act and that the said provision does not require any pre-deposit of penalty for entertaining an appeal. The Supreme Court held that the right to appeal granted by a statute cannot be curtailed by imposing a condition of pre-deposit of penalty, which can result in the dismissal of the appeal, if such deposit is not satisfied.
The Supreme Court declared that non-compliance of the NCLAT Stay Order will not impact the substantive appeal. As the condition of deposit was attached to the NCLAT Stay Order, any non-compliance would result in the NCLAT Stay Order ceasing to operate, as the pre-condition is not fulfilled. However, the substantive appeal would have to be decided on merits after giving the involved parties an opportunity to be heard.
As a result, the Supreme Court set aside part of the NCLAT Stay Order and directed that the appeal be restored and decided on merits. The stay order remained vacated on ground of the non-compliance.

http://www.mondaq.com/india/x/707524/Antitrust+Competition/Supreme+Court+Clarifies+NCLATs+Powers+In+Appeal

Friday, May 25, 2018

With IBC norms changed, Jaypee homebuyers to rerun case


Hopeful of getting a fair treatment after reclassification as financial creditors, the homebuyers of Jaypee Infratech are planning to approach the court to rerun the ongoing resolution process under the amended Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC).

The government on Wednesday approved changes in the IBC through an ordinance that gives homebuyers the status of financial creditors at par with banks in the insolvency resolution process. "Once the ordinance is promulgated upon getting President's assent, we will approach the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) to rerun the resolution process,".

Jaypee has failed to deliver 25,000 flats to the buyers citing lack of funds. The realtor had raised around Rs 12,000 crore from the buyers for its Wishtown housing project in Noida in the National Capital Region.

Rerunning the case would mean starting the process from the stage of invitation of fresh bids and reconstitution of the Committee of Creditors (CoC). So, even if the changes are prospective, it would not matter in this case, Rai said.

Currently, the resolution process is heavily tilted in favour of banks, whereas homebuyers have little say in it, homebuyers and lawyers feel.

Even as their contribution in most real estate projects is more than that of banks, homebuyers are unable to participate equitably, leave aside preferential treatment, rue lawyers and homebuyers.

Jaypee raised about Rs 12,000 crore from homebuyers in instalments and booking amount which was much higher than Rs 8,276 crore raised by it from the banks. However, homebuyers were offered only 30% as compared to banks which were offered 70% of the bid price of around Rs 10,000 crore earlier quoted by a company during the resolution process.

With better representation on the CoC, homebuyers hope to get this order reversed.

"This is likely to get reversed if the new bids are invited. Given that Rs 3,500 crore is required to complete the remaining 60% construction in the project, the homebuyers are likely to get 4-5% of the principal amount as delay compensation," Rai said.

However, even in this scenario, the homebuyers are looking at 20% haircut on an average instead of 42% expected earlier, experts point out.

Classification as financial creditors will allow homebuyers to have a greater say in the resolution process and protect their rights. Homebuyers will have voting rights and can now participate in the CoC meetings. Till now, they had no voting rights and were sitting outside the CoC.

A total of 66% members of the CoC can decide on a resolution process. This will allow homebuyers to insist the bidders to include delay compensation in the resolution plan.

However, "placing thousands of homebuyers on CoC could be tricky. Some of them may not come to vote, while others may have a different opinion,", one of Jaypee homebuyers.

Homebuyers will be treated at par with banks during the insolvency resolution process. However, if the resolution process fails and the company is forced into liquidation, homebuyers will be placed after the banks as realtor has given land assets as collateral.

http://www.dnaindia.com/business/report-with-ibc-norms-changed-jaypee-homebuyers-to-rerun-case-2618540

NCLAT admits banks’ petition over Jaypee Infratech land

The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal on Thursday admitted a petition filed by banks against the NCLT order which had directed Jaiprakash Associates to return nearly 760 acres of land to its subsidiary Jaypee Infratech.

A two-member bench headed by Chairman Justice S J Mukhopadhaya also issued notices to the resolution professional (RP) of the company over the petition filed by three lenders -- Axis Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and ICICI Bank. The bench fixed July 13 as the next date of hearing.

During the proceedings, the appellate tribunal observed that the adjudicating authority (NCLT) does not have jurisdiction to declare any instrument illegal.

NCLAT was hearing the appeal over the order of the Allahabad bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), which had asked debt-ridden Jaiprakash Associates Ltd to return nearly 760 acres of land to its subsidiary Jaypee Infratech, declaring the transfer of the land as “fraudulent” and “undervalued”.

NCLT had directed JP Group’s flagship firm Jaiprakash Associates Ltd (JAL) to release and discharge interest created over the land to lenders including ICICI Bank.

The order had come on a petition filed by Jaypee Infratech’s resolution professional (RP) Anuj Jain in the NCLT seeking direction over transactions entered into by the company’s promoters creating mortgage on 858 acres of land to secure debt for JAL.