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SC to hear on Friday Jaypee Group plea against NCLAT order

twitter-logoPTI | August 1, 2019 | Updated 18:42 IST

New Delhi, Aug 1 (PTI) The Supreme Court agreed on Thursday to hear tomorrow the Jaypee Group's plea against the NCLAT order which allowed fresh bidding for debt-laden Jaypee Infratech. The top court said it will hear a plea of home buyers along with the statutory appeal of Jaypee Group against the July 30 order of National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT). A bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari said it will hear the appeal on August 2, after senior advocate Fali S Nariman, appearing for of Jaypee Group, told the court that a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi has allowed the listing of the petition on Friday. Nariman said that since a meeting of the committee of creditors (CoC) is scheduled to be held on August 5, this appeal is required to be heard urgently. The developments in the case were fast-paced in the apex court on Thursday. Initially, Nariman said during the hearing on a homebuyers plea that they have filed an appeal against the NCLAT order and it requires to be heard urgently. Additional Solicitor General Madhavi Divan told the bench that Parliament is considering the amendments in Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), which will address various concerns of homebuyers. She said that another meeting of various stakeholders with the Finance Ministry is also scheduled to be held on August 5 to resolve taxation and other issues. Divan sought adjournment of 6-8 weeks to enable various authorities to take a decision in the wake of new developments in the Finance Ministry and amendments in IBC code. The bench then asked Nariman to mention the matter in the Chief Justice's court for urgent listing of their appeal. Nariman then rushed to the court of the Chief Justice and mentioned the plea for urgent listing saying that issue is of grave importance and required to be heard urgently. The Chief Justice then ordered listing of the plea before an appropriate bench. At 2 PM, Nariman again mentioned the matter before a bench headed by Justice A M Khanwilkar and informed about Chief Justice's bench ordering listing of the matter on August 2. To this, the bench said that all the pending petitions in Jaypee case will be heard together on Friday. On July 30, the NCLAT had allowed fresh bidding for the cash-strapped Jaypee Infratech but barred its promoter Jaypee Group from participating in the auction. To enable the fresh bidding process, the NCLAT extended the resolution period of Jaypee Infratech for another 90 days, which includes a 45-day window for the resolution professional (RP) and lenders of the debt-ridden firm to invite fresh bids. The NCLAT direction came in view of lenders rejecting the resolution plan of state-owned NBCC and Suraksha Realty in the second round of bidding. Jaypee Infratech went into insolvency in August 2017 after the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) admitted an application filed by an IDBI Bank-led consortium. In the first round of insolvency proceedings conducted last year, the Rs 7,350-crore bid of Lakshdeep, part of Suraksha Group, was rejected by lenders. The NCLAT had asked state-owned NBCC, whose bid was rejected by the CoC of Jaypee Infratech, to submit fresh resolution plan for the debt-ridden company. The appellate tribunal has also rejected the plea of Jaiprakash Associates Ltd, the promoters of Jaypee Infratech, to be eligible to submit a bid. "No liberty is given to ‘Jaiprakash Associates Ltd.’, in view of the aforesaid observation and decision of Supreme Court in ‘Chitra Sharma’ (Supra)," it had said. On June 18, the Centre had informed the apex court that fresh amendments to the IBC give appropriate weightage to homebuyers to protect their interest. The Lok Sabha on Thursday passed amendments to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, with the government asserting that the spirit behind the law is not to allow companies to die. Rajya Sabha has already passed the bill and with its passage in the lower house, the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code is set to be amended. The top court had earlier said it may use its plenary power under Article 142 of the Constitution to protect the interest of over 21,000 homebuyers in the JIL case, if their grievances are not addressed. The court is hearing a plea which has sought that JIL be not sent into liquidation, although the deadline for the corporate insolvency resolution process is over, as it would cause "irreparable loss" to thousands of homebuyers. On August 9 last year, the apex court ordered re-commencement of the resolution process against JIL and barred the firm, its holding company and promoters from participating in fresh bidding process. It allowed the Reserve Bank of India to direct banks to initiate corporate insolvency resolution proceedings (CIRP) against Jaiprakash Associates Ltd (JAL), the holding company of JIL, under the IBC. PTI MNL SA

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