Admission of application Section 7(5)(a) not mandatory even when default established: Supreme Court clarifies

Introduction

The Supreme Court, in a recent judgment passed in Vidarbha Industries Power Limited v. Axis Bank Limited1, adjudicated upon whether Section 7(5)(a) of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (“IBC“) is a mandatory or discretionary provision i.e. on an application for initiating Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (“CIRP“) by a financial creditor.

Continue Reading Admission of application Section 7(5)(a) not mandatory even when default established: Supreme Court clarifies

Interpreting Limitation Provisions

Introduction

The Supreme Court of India, in a recent judgment, reiterated that the limitation period for filing of an appeal against the order of the National Company Law Tribunal (“NCLT”) as laid down under Section 61 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (“IBC”) has to be interpreted strictly.

Continue Reading Interpreting Limitation Provisions – Supreme Court Rejects the ‘Date of Knowledge’ Argument

Appropriate forum for Insolvency of Personal Guarantors

Introduction

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”),[1] 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?

The Sri Lankan Bankruptcy Battle

International Monetary Fund (“IMF”) was founded in the aftermath of World War-II at the Bretton Woods Conference in 1944 to establish a post-war financial order that would facilitate economic cooperation.[1] The IMF has the mandate of providing financial support mechanisms such as bailouts to member countries that are experiencing actual or potential macroeconomic problems. A balance of payments crisis is a huge macroeconomic imbalance. It is also called currency crisis. It occurs when a nation is unable to pay for essential imports or service its external debt payments. Since 2010, world financial markets have expressed recurrent concerns about risks to debt sustainability. This was fuelled by the COVID-19 pandemic wherein most stressed economies got pushed into a pandemic induced financial crisis, making IMF bailouts the go to short-term ‘solution’ for failing balance of payments.

Continue Reading International Monetary Fund Bailouts: The Sri Lankan Bankruptcy Battle

claim for refund of advance amount

Introduction

Since the enactment of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016, (“IBC”), the Indian judiciary has been facing numerous interpretational challenges on various provisions of the IBC. While certain challenges have been put to rest by introducing amendments to the legislation, a larger bunch of the issues have been settled by interpretations adopted by the judiciary. The Courts and Tribunals, in interpreting the provisions of the IBC, have aspired to achieve the objective of the IBC, i.e. maximising the value of assets of the corporate debtor.

Continue Reading Is Claim for Refund of Advance an ‘Operational Debt’? SC Comes to Rescue

Liquidation Process

Introduction

The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (“IBC”), an umbrella legislation, has successfully envisaged the process of speedy resolution or liquidation of a corporate entity and has proved to be a milestone in the Indian legal framework. By bringing IBC in force, the legislature has sought to maximise the value of the assets of the debtor, and to adopt a fair and transparent procedure for the disposition of the assets while balancing the interests of all stakeholders.

Continue Reading Enforcement directorate under PMLA can no longer attach assets once liquidation process has been initiated under IBC

Lease and Rentals - Are these Operational Debt under the IBC

INTRODUCTION

The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (‘Code’) recognises two types of debts — financial and operational– to enable the creditors to make an application for initiating insolvency proceedings against a corporate debtor. A financial creditor and an operational creditor can initiate a Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (‘CIRP’) under Section 7 and Section 9 of the Code, respectively. If there is a debt, other than a financial debt or an operational debt, the creditor will not qualify to apply under Sections 7 or 9 of the Code, as the case may be. Therefore, it becomes important to determine the nature of debt/claim while considering the application of an admission under the Code.
Continue Reading Lease and Rentals: Are these Operational Debt under the IBC?

Karnataka High Court’s Judgment in Dreamz Infra India Limited v. Competent Authority - Yet another manifestation of primacy of the IBC

Since the introduction of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (“Code/IBC”), the courts and tribunals in India have had to constantly assess the application of the Code vis-à-vis other central and state legislations in light of the non-obstante clause under Section 238 of the Code.  The courts have time and again reiterated that the Code would have an overriding effect over other legislations to the extent of being repugnant  to the matters exhaustively dealt with under the Code. The courts have re-affirmed the primacy of the Code based on the premise that the IBC is a ‘complete and consolidated code in itself.’ For example, in Innoventive Industries Ltd. vs. ICICI Bank and Ors. (“Innoventive”), the Hon’ble Supreme Court upheld the primacy of the Code over the Maharashtra Relief Undertakings (Special Provisions) Act, 1958 and in Directorate of Enforcement vs. Manoj Kumar Agarwal & Ors (“Manoj Kumar Agarwal case”), the Hon’ble National Company Law Appellate Tribunal  (“NCLAT”) noted that the  provisions of the Code shall override the attachment of the properties of the Corporate Debtor under Sections 5 and 8 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.[1]
Continue Reading Karnataka High Court’s Judgment in Dreamz Infra India Limited v. Competent Authority: Yet another manifestation of primacy of the IBC

Limitation Act is to be Made Applicable ‘As Far as May Be Possible’ to Insolvency Code

The Supreme Court’s pro-insolvency stance continues. With three recent rulings in a period of one month, the Supreme Court has clearly indicated that, so far as possible within the contours of the Limitation Act, a debt will continue to be alive and an action basis such debt will be maintainable under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (“Insolvency Code”) against a defaulting borrower.
Continue Reading Limitation Act is to be made applicable ‘as far as may be possible’ to Insolvency Code

Enforcement of Arbitration Awards via Insolvency Proceedings - A Contrary Perspective

As the Insolvency regime in India builds its new course under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (‘Insolvency Code’), numerous issues of application have arisen and will continue to grapple the corridors of the insolvency courts. One of the concerns is the interaction between debt enforcement/ execution procedures and the Insolvency Code. Insolvency Code allows operational creditors to initiate insolvency proceedings against a debtor, with a valid proof of undisputed claim. Form 5 of the IBBI (Application to Adjudication Authority) Rules, 2016, under which an Operational Creditor makes an application for initiation of insolvency process, considers a court decree or an arbitration award adjudicating on the default as a valid evidence of default to support insolvency commencement. The all-encompassing term ‘Arbitration Award’ includes both domestic awards and foreign awards. While the domestic awards are per se enforceable before the civil courts, unless stayed in a challenge before the court, and no distinct process for enforcement needs to be complied with under the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (‘Arbitration Act’), foreign awards must follow a procedure of recognition, prior to being considered as enforceable before Indian courts. The Rules, however, shed no light on issues such as, at what stage the arbitration awards are eligible to be presented before the insolvency courts for insolvency commencement.
Continue Reading Enforcement of Arbitration Awards via Insolvency Proceedings: A Contrary Perspective