In a setback to ICICI Bank, the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has rejected the private lender's plea to initiate insolvency proceedings against Era Infrastructure (India), on account of "duplicacy" of claims.
A two-member bench headed by NCLT President Justice M M Kumar dismissed the lender's plea against Era Infrastructure India for a default of Rs 240 crore, stating that the bank has already raised similar claims against its parent company Era Infra Engineering, news agency PTI reported.
The tribunal said that the petition filed by ICICI Bank "cannot be entertained on account of duplicacy" of the claims.
"This is again raised for admission in the present proceeding. Such a course obviously is not permissible in law...," it reportedly said.
The NCLT observed that the insolvency petition filed by ICICI Bank against infrastructure company was based on the similar facts and documents which the resolution professional (RP) of Era Infra Engineering had rejected in the past, the news agency said.
Earlier on December 6, 2018, the tribunal had asked RP of Era Infrastructure India to admit the said claims, which had been earlier denied by him. ICICI Bank had given a loan of Rs 240 crore to Era Infrastructure India to which its parent firm Era Infra Engineering had guaranteed the payments, which is currently undergoing resolution process.
The tribunal had in May last year admitted an insolvency plea against the Era Infrastructure filed by Union Bank of India, which had sought to recover Rs 680 crore, along with an overdue external commercial borrowing of USD 11.97 million. In total, the infrastructure company owes nearly Rs 10,000 crore to its lenders.
In March this year, the NCLT admitted the ICICI Bank's insolvency plea against engineering and construction firm Punj Lloyd for a default of Rs 853.83 crore.
Reserve Bank of India had in June 2017 identified 12 large defaulters, including Era Infrastructure, and asked their lenders to recover debts through the Insolvency and Bankruptcy (IBC) Code.
Edited by Chitranjan Kumar