Gitanjali Gems’ Resolution Professional Wants To Implead Central Agencies For Information
A woman walks past a Gitanjali Gems Ltd. Giantti store in Mumbai, India (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Gitanjali Gems’ Resolution Professional Wants To Implead Central Agencies For Information

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The resolution professional of Gitanjali Gems Ltd. on Tuesday moved the National Company Law Tribunal seeking a direction to the central agencies investigating the scam-tainted company to share information with him so that the resolution process moves faster.

The counsel representing the RP informed the tribunal that even though the company has gone to RP for everyday management, all the assets of Gitanjali Gems were seized and attached by the Enforcement Directorate and the Serious Fraud Investigation Office, and thus they along with the Central Bureau of Investigation have all the financial and other details of the company, but have so far refused share the same with the RP despite repeated requests.

“To make the resolution successful there is a need for the RP to have all the information, hence, we want to implead the SFIO, ED and the CBI in the case,” the counsel said.

An NCLT bench of MK Shrawat observed that the tribunal is not in conflict with these federal agencies but underlined the need for everybody to work together so that all the stakeholders get optimum value from the resolution process.

The tribunal said before issuing an order, it needs to hear these agencies out and directed the agencies to be present on Aug. 9 when it will resume hearing the case.

The counsel also said the lenders have approved the appointment of Vijay Kumar Garg as the RP for the company.

Meanwhile, the RP also sought the tribunal's nod to reject claims of two operational creditors—HT Media Ltd. and Laxmi Diamonds Ltd. with a claim of over Rs 4.72 crore and Rs 19.21 crore respectively—citing delayed submission of claims. To this, the tribunal said these claims could be considered on merit.

Gitanjali had informed the stock exchanges that it owes around Rs 12,558 crore to lenders. The dues include working capital loans and external commercial borrowings.

Currently, among the lenders, Punjab National Bank with an exposure of over Rs 5,518 crore, has 43.94 percent of the voting rights, followed by ICICI Bank Ltd. which has 7.9 percent voting shares with an exposure of Rs 890 crore.

In October 2018, the Mumbai bench of the NCLT had admitted the insolvency plea filed by ICICI Bank. The private sector lender had approached the tribunal after the company had defaulted on dues of around Rs 890 crore.

This was the first insolvency petition filed by the lender since government agencies launched a probe into Gitanjali Gems Mehul Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi for allegedly defrauding Punjab National Bank of over $2 billion between 2010 and 2017.

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