NCLAT Rejects Interups’ Plea In Asian Colour Coated Ispat Insolvency, Says Appellant Not An Aggrieved Party
The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal has rejected a plea by U.S.-based Interups Inc. that challenged the National Company Law Tribunal's approval for JSW Steel group's Rs 1,550 crore-bid for Asian Colour Coated Ispat Ltd.
Dismissing the petition, the appellate tribunal said Interups wanted to enter the fray for ACCIL nearly one year after the Committee of Creditor gave its approval for the resolution plan.
The NCLT had approved the bid of the Sajjan Jindal-led JSW Steel group firm JSW Steel Coated Products for ACCIL in October last year.
In its order passed on Monday, a three-member NCLAT bench, headed by Acting Chairperson Justice BL Bhat, said that Interups neither qualifies as a resolution applicant nor as a prospective resolution applicant or as a successful or unsuccessful resolution applicant for ACCIL.
Hence, it cannot be termed as an aggrieved party to file an appeal against the NCLT order, the bench said.
According to Interups, it had submitted an Expression of Interest for ACCIL on June 12, 2020 and that the Resolution Professional did not place its proposal before the CoC for consideration.
The Resolution Professional issued Form G, inviting EoI on Oct. 1, 2018, and it was revised on Dec. 14, 2018. The last date for receipt of the resolution plan was March 8, 2019. The EoI was received from 12 resolution applicants and 11 of them were found eligible, as per the NCLAT.
The appellate tribunal noted that Interups was a "stranger" to the insolvency resolution process till June 11, 2020. It had the first time expressed its interest to submit a resolution plan on June 12, 2020, through an e-mail marked to all CoC members and no financial proposal was provided.
"Appellant (Interups) has asked for EoI on June 12 2020 when application seeking approval of resolution plan was already filed by Resolution Professional on July 10, 2019 under section 31 of Code after CoC approval on June 28, 2019 with 79.3% voting share," it said.
All this reflect that Interups wanted to enter the fray nearly one year after the CoC approval of the resolution plan, it added.
"Appellant may be termed as an outsider standing on the sidelines. Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process is time-bound, value maximisation has also to be in time-bound manner," the NCLAT said while dismissing the appeal.
ACCIL had a total debt of around Rs 6,500 crore. It specialises in downstream, galvanised and colour-coated products which are exported to Europe, Latin America and Africa.
The company went into insolvency in July 2018 after the NCLT admitted an application by SBI.