The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (“MCA”) issued a notification on October 03, 2023 under Section 14(3)(a) of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (“IBC”), exempting the applicability of moratorium under Section 14(1) of the IBC to transactions, arrangements or agreements under the Cape Town Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment (“Convention”) and the Protocol to the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment on Matters Specific to Aircraft Equipment (“Protocol”) (the “Notification”).Continue Reading Sky is the Actual Limit for IBC? – Exemption from Moratorium over Aircraft Objects during Insolvency
Partner in the Projects and Projects Finance Team at the Mumbai office of Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas. Dhananjay specialises in project and project finance and focuses mainly on oil & gas, telecom and port sectors. He advises both lenders and developers in the infrastructure sector and has acted for many key players in this space. Dhananjay is also a member of the Bankruptcy Practice of the Firm. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
The provisions of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (the “Code”) in relation to personal guarantors (“PG”) to corporate debtor (“Corporate Debtor”) have been effective since December 1, 2019. However, whether a corporate insolvency resolution process (“CIRP”) (or even a pending application to initiate such a process) against the Corporate Debtor is a pre-requisite for initiation of insolvency resolution process or bankruptcy process against the PG under the Code (“PG Proceedings”) before the National Company Law Tribunal (“NCLT”) has been a question that continued to vex the judicial for some time, until recently the Honourable Supreme Court, in Mahendra Kumar Jajodia v. SBI Stressed Assets Management Branch (“Mahendra Kumar Case”), upheld the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (“NCLAT”) order holding that the NCLT has jurisdiction over PG Proceedings, regardless of any CIRP or liquidation proceedings pending against the Corporate Debtor before it.
This blog analyses the background, the developments so far and the position after the Apex Court’s order.Continue Reading Appropriate forum for Insolvency of Personal Guarantors – Is the last word out?
In continuance of various measures to resolve the pile of non-performing assets (NPAs) in the financial sector, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has now turned its focus on the role and framework of Asset Reconstruction Companies (ARCs) in being an important part of the solution. Even though the ARCs were in the game since enactment of the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2002 (“SARFAESI”), their performance has been sub-optimal and the recovery percentage abysmally low.Continue Reading Overhaul of the ARC Framework – Need of the hour
On June 5, 2020, the President of India promulgated the Insolvency and Bankruptcy (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 (“Ordinance”), in furtherance to the economic measures announced by the Ministry of Finance to support Indian businesses impacted by the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Ordinance has introduced the following amendments to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (“IBC”) (effective immediately):
- Section 10A has been inserted in the IBC, restricting filing of any application for initiation of the corporate insolvency resolution process (“CIRP”) of a corporate debtor (being a company or a limited liability partnership) for any default arising after March 25, 2020, for a period of six months or such further period, not exceeding one year from March 25, 2020, as may be notified in this behalf (such period being “Specified Period”).
Further, a proviso has been inserted in section 10A to specify that no application shall ever be filed for initiation of CIRP of a corporate debtor for the said default occurring during the Specified Period i.e. CIRP can never be initiated on the basis of a default during the Specified Period, even if the default is continuing after having occurred during the Specified Period.
- A non-obstante clause has been inserted in to section 66 (Fraudulent trading or wrongful trading) of the IBC to give protection to the directors of a corporate debtor. Accordingly, no application can be filed by a resolution professional under sub-section 66(2), in respect of such defaults against which initiation of CIRP is suspended under Section 10A of the IBC.
With more than three lakh confirmed cases and 14 thousand deaths across 190 countries, the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has caused (and continues to cause) unprecedented disruptions in the global political, social and economic environment. India has not remained untouched from this. With almost 500 confirmed cases and the country in lock-down mode to prevent further outbreak, social and economic activities have come to a grinding halt.
The pandemic has forced governments across the world to impose restrictions on working and travel conditions as well as human movement. The severity of the situation requires quick and decisive action from the Government and all sections of the economy to prevent ‘deepening’ of the crisis.
Continue Reading Indian Insolvency Law responds to the COVID-19 Pandemic
The edifice of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (“IBC”) was conceptualised on ideas such as promoting ‘maximisation of value of assets’, ‘a transparent and predictable insolvency law’, ‘avoiding destruction of value of the debtor’ and recognising the difference between ‘malfeasance and business failure’. In the three years since the enactment of the IBC, many areas in the insolvency resolution process have required judicial and legislative interventions to enable the process to achieve the desired results.
Among others, the ongoing investigations against insolvent entities and the risk of cancellation of critical government contracts during the insolvency process, were identified as key impediments to strategic interest in the stressed market. The introduction of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Second Amendment) Bill, 2019 (“Bill”), by the Government, is a step that will help overcome such ‘critical gaps in the corporate insolvency framework’.
Continue Reading IBC Second Amendment Bill, 2019: Finishing Touches to the Indian Restructuring Landscape
Essar Steel judgement of the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT), which required that the secured financial creditors share recoveries in a resolution plan under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (IBC), inter se (irrespective of the ranking of their security positions) and with the trade creditors, on a pari passu basis, was considered a ”confusion in the different types of creditors” and a setback for the nascent but growing secondary debt market in India. The judgement perhaps was also opposed to the realities of credit risk assessments and pricing of the credit leading to an unsatisfactory resolution outcome for creditors in an insolvency situation.
Continue Reading Essar Steel India Limited: Supreme Court Reinforces Primacy of Creditors Committee in Insolvency Resolution
The Reserve Bank of India (“RBI”) has issued the Reserve Bank of India (Prudential Framework for Resolution of Stressed Assets) Directions, 2019 (“New Framework”) on June 07, 2019 in which the RBI has continued the core principles of its circular dated February 12, 2018 (“February 12 Circular”) and has added provisions encouraging both informal and formal restructuring in India. The New Framework creates an enabling framework for restructuring and resolutions outside the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (“IBC”) as well as encourages use of IBC as a restructuring tool. It applies to banks, financial institutions as well as large non-banking financing companies (“NBFCs”) (the February 12 Circular did not apply to NBFCs) and also requires asset reconstruction companies to adhere to the relevant resolution framework under the inter-creditor agreement (see below).
Continue Reading BANKS TO LEAD RESOLUTION EFFORTS – THE NEW RBI FRAMEWORK FOR RESOLUTION OF STRESSED ASSETS
Upon commencement of the resolution process under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (Code), powers of the Board of Directors of the company stand suspended and are vested in and exercised by the resolution professional. While the directors are entitled to attend the meetings of the committee of creditors (COC) formed for the company, such directors have no voting rights.
A question arose over whether the directors should be given copies of the resolution plans and other confidential documents that the COC considers during the meetings. Sharing of such documents could be seen as in direct conflict with the obligations of the resolution professional to maintain confidentiality under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (Insolvency Resolution Process for Corporate Persons) Regulations, 2016 (CIRP Regulations) and other related regulations. More importantly, it could create positions of conflict between the suspended Board, who often submit resolution plans or are applicants under Section 12A, and the other participants. The Hon’ble Supreme Court in its recent judgment in Vijay Kumar Jain v. Standard Chartered Bank and Others has, with great respect, left some questions unanswered.
Continue Reading Supreme Court on the Rights of Suspended Board in Vijay Kumar Jain v. Standard Chartered Bank: Some Implications
India has long recognised the right of foreign creditors to participate in the winding up of Indian companies. As early as 1961, the Supreme Court of India, in Rajah of Vizianagaram (AIR 1962 SC 500), clarified that foreign creditors have the same right as Indian creditors in winding up proceedings under Indian law. Given the backlog of cases and resultant timelines for resolving disputes in the Indian judicial system, winding up has been the remedy of choice, albeit mostly as a pressure point, for unsecured creditors including foreign unsecured creditors of Indian companies. Such creditors have taken winding up actions despite the low return (an abysmal 28% as per one source) and pace of insolvency (almost 4.5 years) in the Indian market. At the same time, there have been instances where consensual restructuring of stressed Indian companies has been halted by such actions of unsecured creditors.
The Indian government from time to time provided a specific legal regime for Indian financial creditors to recover their money – for example, debt recovery tribunals (DRT) and the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2002 (SARFAESI). But no additional measures were suggested for non-financial creditors.Continue Reading IBC- Making “Doing Business in India” Easy for Foreign Trade Creditors?