16 April 2019: The Rs 4,000-crore resolution plan by Sharad Sanghi and others for Jyoti Structures on Monday got a thumbs-up from the Supreme Court. The development nullified the possibility of the debt-laded EPC firm getting liquidated.
The NCLT last month had approved an amended plan for the firm with a heavy debt of `7,011 crore, on a directive from the appellate tribunal (NCLAT), but DBS Bank, the sole first charge holder over certain assets of the firm, subsequently challenged the plan in the SC.
An SC Bench led by Justice RF Nariman has now dismissed the appeal of DBS Bank against the NCLT order that accepted the amended resolution plan for Jyoti Structures.
The NCLAT had on March 19 set aside the July 31, 2018 NCLT-Mumbai order to liquidate Jyoti Structures and remitted the case back to the tribunal.
DBS Bank argued that the amended plan did not distinguish between the first charge holder and the second charge holder, but had distinguished between the secured and unsecured creditor, which made a resolution plan contradictory in nature.
Senior counsel KV Vishwanathan, appearing for DBS, argued that the liquidation value of the assets charged to DBS is more than three times of its exposure and the company owes `53.77 crore to it. DBS also said the appellate tribunal ignored the principles of law of mortgages, which give sanctity of property rights, more so right of a creditor holding a first and sole charge.
Terming as `unfair’ the voting process adopted by the committee of creditors (CoC) to approve the Sanghi’s resolution plan, DBS also said the resolution plan had completely ignored the superior security structure vis-a-vis other financial creditors and had treated the bank’s claim on an equal footing with other financial creditors who do not enjoy the same superior security structure.
Senior counsel Mukul Rohtagi, appearing for Sanghi, opposed DBS’s plea, saying in CoC, SBI had the largest exposure of 25% and it had supported the RP. Besides, there was only one resolution plan and if the same is rejected, the company will go into liquidation and that is not the purpose of the IBC.
The sole bidder, Sharad Sanghi, who heads software firm Netmagic, had submitted a revised bid pursuant to the appellate tribunal’s order. As per the fresh bid, Sanghi will pay `3,965 crore in 12 years against the original bid of 15 years. A amount of `50 crore would be paid upfront, followed by `75 crore over the next 12 months and the remaining in staggered payments over the next 12 years. As per this first bid, the company has a liquidation value of just `1,112.52 crore, leaving the bankers with a 43% haircut.
On March 26 and 27, 2018, Sanghi’s resolution plan was voted by 62.66% of lenders, while 23.12% voted against, and 14.21% abstained. On April 2, 2018, some lenders changed their decisions and the plan got an 81.3% approval.
Jyoti Structures is among the first 12 large accounts referred to NCLTs by the Reserve Bank of India in June 2017.