Supreme Court transfers to itself batch of pleas challenging provisions of IBC on personal insolvency

By: |
October 29, 2020 7:59 PM

The top court asked the high courts to not entertain any fresh writ petitions on the issue and said that all interim orders passed by the high court would continue till further orders.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for State Bank of India (SBI), has also said that the issue raised in the writ petitions pending before different high courts is of national importance and does not affect any rights of the petitioners.

The Supreme Court on Thursday transferred to itself a batch of writ petitions pending before different high courts challenging the provisions of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (IBC) with regard to personal insolvency.

The top court asked the high courts to not entertain any fresh writ petitions on the issue and said that all interim orders passed by the high court would continue till further orders.

A bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta and Ajay Rastogi listed the batch of petitions for further hearing on December 2 and asked the parties concerned to complete the pleadings by then.

The top court had on Wednesday reserved its verdict on a plea of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) seeking transfer of all the writ petitions pending before different high courts challenging the provisions of IBC with regard to personal insolvency.  The top court had then favoured transfer of all the writ petitions pending challenging provisions of IBC on insolvency of personal guarantors and reserved its verdict.

During the hearing, Additional Solicitor General Madhavi Divan, appearing for IBBI, has said that questions of law raised in these writ petitions pending before different high courts are the same and relate to the provision of IBC.

She has argued that to avoid any conflicting ruling by different high courts, it would be appropriate if all the petitions are transferred to the top court for final adjudication.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for State Bank of India (SBI), has also said that the issue raised in the writ petitions pending before different high courts is of national importance and does not affect any rights of the petitioners.

Some of the counsels appearing in the matter opposed the transfer of writ petitions and said that it would be better if the high courts decide the issue, and the top court will have the benefit of judgement of the high court.

Among the writ petitions sought to be transferred is the case pending before the Delhi High Court regarding businessman Anil Ambani concerning his personal insolvency.

On October 12, the Delhi High Court had sought the Centre and SBI’s reply to the former RCom chairman’s plea to include the Chinese banks, which have got a decree of USD 717 million against him from a court in United Kingdom, in the proceedings here related to recovery of Rs 1,200 crore loan granted to two of his companies.

On September 17, the top court had dismissed a plea by SBI seeking resumption of insolvency proceedings against Ambani, to recover the loan.

The top court refused to vacate the stay granted by the Delhi High Court by its interim order on the personal insolvency proceedings against Ambani.

Ambani had given personal guarantees for the SBI loans of Rs 565 crore and Rs 635 crore to RCom and Reliance Infratel Ltd (RITL) in August 2016.

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