Workers load a steel sheet onto a truck in the Naraina steel and iron market area of New Delhi, India. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)

ArcelorMittal Resolution Plan In Violation Of Bankruptcy Code, Says Ruia

Debt-ridden Essar Steel’s promoter Prashant Ruia submitted before the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal that the resolution plan moved by ArcelorMittal is in violation of the and Bankruptcy Code.

Senior advocate UK Chaudhary, representing Ruia, said that the proposal of ArcelorMittal India was in violation of the IBC code as the proposal if approved negates the right of Subrogation of the Guarantor.

“Item 18 in the addendum of the resolution plan says that Subrogation right of the guarantor would stand extinguished on the approval of the resolution plan,” he said.

Subrogation means substitution of one person or group by another in respect of a debt. With subrogation right, a guarantor can step into the shoes of a creditor.

According to Chaudhary, this was illegal and was in violation of Indian Contract Act and requested the appellate tribunal to quash the plan.

“This is also in violation of IBC,” he said, adding that the resolution plan should either be rejected or this clause should be deleted.

Ruia was one of the personal guarantors to financial creditors, on which they gave money to the company, said Chaudhary.

Meanwhile, senior advocate Haren Raval, represeting Essar Steel Asia Holdings Ltd. concluded his arguments.

Also read: Standard Chartered Not Happy With Essar Steel Lenders’ ‘Secret’ Talks With ArcelorMittal

He submitted that the Committee of Creditors was aware about the ineligibility of ArcelorMittal and despite that it went ahead and voted in favour of the resolution plan submitted by it.

It has alleged ArcelorMittal chairman and chief executive officer LN Mittal has suppressed vital facts that would otherwise render him ineligible to offer a buyout plan for the distressed steel mill under Section 29A of the IBC.

Until Dec. 31, 2018, Mittal was a shareholder of Navoday Consultants, which in turn was a shareholder in certain companies run by his brothers Pramod and Vinod Mittal, which had defaulted on bank loans.

Mittal’s association with these companies would make him ineligible as a bidder.

While Karur Vysya Bank has also moved the NCLAT claiming dues worth Rs 3.5 crore for KKS Petron.

Karur Vysya, claimed to be a financial creditor of KKS Petron, in which, Mittal paid around Rs 4,000 crore to clear dues to be eligible to bid for EssarSteel.

The appellate tribunal would continue its hearing tomorrow.

Also read: Supreme Court Seeks Centre’s Reply On Essar Power’s Plea To Surrender Coal Block