Jaypee creditors’ panel to discuss NBCC offer on Monday; Suraksha warns of legal action

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Updated: May 23, 2021 10:28 PM

Peeved over the proposed CoC meeting, the Suraksha group has written a strongly-worded letter to Anuj Jain and bankers, seeking fairness and transparency in the insolvency process.

On Sunday, Suraksha Group had warned of legal action against CoC as well as the IRP if there was any delay in the scheduled voting process.On Sunday, Suraksha Group had warned of legal action against CoC as well as the IRP if there was any delay in the scheduled voting process.

The creditors’ panel of Jaypee Infratech Ltd (JIL) will meet on Monday morning to discuss submissions made by state-owned NBCC, a move that has been strongly objected to by Suraksha group that also warned of legal recourse in case voting on its offer does not materialise as scheduled.

The sudden meeting of the Committee of Creditors (CoC) was decided upon after NBCC shot off a strongly-worded letter to the Interim Resolution Professional (IRP) Anuj Jain questioning his jurisdiction in rejecting the company’s offer for the bankrupt JIL.

The CoC had on May 20 decided to put to vote the offer made by Suraksha group.

According to sources, the CoC meeting has been scheduled from 10 am till noon. Interestingly, the voting on the Suraksha group’s bid is to commence from noon on May 24 (Monday) and close at 5 pm on May 27.

The sources said ratification and discussion on NBCC’s addendum dated May 22 to its resolution plan as well as the next steps in the CIRP (Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process) are part of the agenda for the CoC meeting.

The IRP took the decision to call the CoC meeting as five lenders — SBI, IIFCL, IDBI, UBI and LIC — requested him to convene the meeting.

In a regulatory filing on Sunday, Anuj Jain informed shareholders that a meeting of the CoC is scheduled on May 24.

The lenders’ request followed NBCC’s letter, dated May 23, to the IRP questioning his jurisdiction. The public sector firm had also suo-motto submitted a 14-page addendum to further clarify queries raised by the lenders.

Suraksha group has strongly objected to the creditor panel’s meet on May 24 to discuss the NBCC’s addendum to its final bid, which was submitted on May 18 after the 4 pm deadline.

The Mumbai-based firm has threatened to take legal recourse against lenders as well as the IRP if there are any delays and change in the voting process already approved on its bid.

Suraksha group has written a letter to the IRP and bankers, seeking fairness and transparency in the insolvency process.

“We wish to put on record strong objections to such actions to ratify and discuss the resolution plan of the other resolution applicant at this late stage…,” Suraksha group said in the letter.

Listing out grounds for its strong objection, Suraksha group said the company had submitted the resolution plan on May 18 within the stipulated time of 4 pm.

NBCC’s plan was submitted not only after stipulated timelines but also after opening and circulation of the Suraksha plan to CoC members, it added.

Suraksha group also said that “in the interest of fairness and transparency of the process, the CoC should not have even considered the plan submitted by NBCC on May 18, 2021”.

If the resolution plan itself ought not to have been admitted, it is obvious that any addendum to such resolution plan cannot be admitted, Suraksha argued.

“Any opportunity to the other resolution applicant by way of considering its plan/ revision/addendum thereto, after decision of the CoC to put up our resolution plan for voting, shall make mockery of entire process and shall be gross injustice to us whose plan was submitted within stipulated time, opened and circulated also amongst the CoC members,” Suraksha said.

It is beyond powers of the CoC and the IRP to consider such addendum without taking approval of the Suraksha group, the letter said.

In case of any further delay in the process and/or deviation from the decision already taken by CoC in its meeting dated May 20, Suraksha group said the company reserves its right to take “appropriate recourse under the applicable laws against the IRP and/or the members of CoC…”

The recourse could include complaining to concerned governing authorities/ agencies for investigation of irregularities in the process, Suraksha said.

On May 20, NBCC’s offer was rejecting citing non-compliance with certain provisions of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) and a Supreme Court order related to JIL insolvency process that was passed in March.

According to sources, Suraksha group is very unhappy with this decision to call the CoC meeting and it could consider withdrawing from the resolution process if the lenders’ panel permits voting on NBCC’s bid.

This is the fourth round of the bidding process in the matter of JIL bankruptcy case. In March this year, the Supreme Court ordered that bids be called only from NBCC and Suraksha group.

The apex court had also directed that resolution process be completed in 45 days, which lapsed on May 8 and an application has been filed to extend the timeline for finding a buyer for JIL.

JIL went into the insolvency process in August 2017 after the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) admitted an application by an IDBI Bank-led consortium.

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