ICICI Bank opposes JAL move to bail out JIL

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New Delhi | Published: July 18, 2018 4:31:27 AM

Bank slams JAL’s proposal to deposit Rs 600 crore to meet the obligations of JIL, saying JAL and JIL should be treated as two separate legal entities.

Besides, any proposal for sale or encumbrance of any JAL asset would require approval of its lenders, it said. (PTI)

ICICI Bank, the lead bank of the consortium of 33 lenders to Jaiprakash Associates (JAL), on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that the company cannot be asked to deposit money for its group firms including embattled Jaypee Infratech (JIL) as it would result in an adverse liability on its existing assets.

Besides, any proposal for sale or encumbrance of any JAL asset would require approval of its lenders, it said.

Opposing the JAL’s proposal to deposit Rs 600 crore to meet the obligations of JIL, the bank told a Bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra that JAL does not have the ability to service any financial liabilities or obligations of its group firms and JAL and JIL should be treated as two separate legal entities as they have their own set of stakeholders, lenders, obligations and liabilities.

While the consortium of 33 banks in JAL has a total exposure of Rs 21,593 crore as on March 31, 2018, JAL owes around Rs 4,750 crore to the ICICI Bank, senior counsel Shyam Divan, appearing for the ICICI Bank, told the judges.

Even the consortium of 13 banks lead by IDBI Bank in JIL’s case has a total exposure of Rs 9,783 crore as on August 9, 2017, and the bankrupt firm owes around Rs 304 crore to the ICICI Bank, he added.

“The assets of JAL may not be used to meet JIL’s obligations as JAL itself is under a debt realignment plan, which envisages scaling down of the serviceable portion of debt to around Rs 6,000 crore against the overall debt,” the bank said in its written submissions to the apex court.

Suggesting that it is desirable to follow the statutory framework, the bank said the issues in the Jaypee case are “complex, involving multiple contractual relationships and huge financial implications” and also requested the top court to direct NCLT, Allahabad, to decide sanctioning of the Scheme of Arrangement filed by JAL pursuant to a Master Restructuring Agreement signed and accepted by all its creditors. Homebuyers also opposed JAL’s proposal, saying JAL itself is undergoing serious financial crisis and has failed to comply with the SC’s order asking it to deposit Rs 2,000 crore for refund purposes.

Senior counsel Anand Grover and Ravindra Srivastava, further stated that liquidation of JIL is not in the interests of homebuyers and lenders. A new promoter should be inducted in JIL and the bids of two firms – Suraksha Realty and Lakshdeep Investments and Finance Ltd and Cube-Kotak consortium should be reconsidered as homebuyers now have the voting right in the Committee of Creditors after the latest amendment in the IBC Code. The SC is hearing a batch of petitions filed by homebuyers and others.

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