Supreme Court Declines SBI Plea Against Stay On Anil Ambani Insolvency Case
Anil Ambani, chairman of Reliance Group, attends the company's annual general meeting in Mumbai, India. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Supreme Court Declines SBI Plea Against Stay On Anil Ambani Insolvency Case

The Supreme Court declined to entertain the State Bank of India’s plea seeking to vacate stay on insolvency proceedings against businessman Anil Ambani.

The State Bank of India approached the Supreme Court this month against the interim order of the Delhi High Court, which put the proceedings in the National Company Law Tribunal on hold. It came on Ambani's plea challenging certain provisions of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.

A three-judge bench of the top court, comprising Justice L Nageswara Rao, Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice S Ravindra Bhat, on Thursday asked the Delhi High Court to take up Ambani’s petition for hearing from Oct. 6.

The personal insolvency provisions of the bankruptcy code were notified in November 2019, which SBI triggered against Ambani in June this year. The NCLT agreed to hear the plea on Aug. 20 and appointed a resolution professional to verify the claims of the bank.

Ambani then approached the Delhi High Court challenging certain provisions of the code. A division bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar ordered a stay on the proceedings in the Mumbai bench of the NCLT.

The State Bank approached the top court against this order of the high court, arguing the stay was against public interest. It argued that the former billionaire can’t be allowed to wriggle out of his contractual obligations by filing a writ challenging the personal insolvency provisions of bankruptcy code.

“It’s not in public interest to grant stay of insolvency proceedings against surety, when the bank, which deals with public money, has to recover huge sum of more than Rs 1,707 crore from the writ petitioner,’’ the bank said in its appeal, a copy of which was reviewed by BloombergQuint.

The top court, however, dismissed the bank’s petition against the interim order of the high court.

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