24 June 2019: The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) said that the assets of the corporate debtor cannot be alienated, transferred or sold to a third party during the period of moratorium.
Citing this, the appellate tribunal dismissed a petition filed by the customs authority that sought an auction of confined goods of a company. Upholding the orders of the Kolkata bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), the appellate tribunal also said that after an order of ‘moratorium’ is passed by the adjudicating authority the customs department cannot issue auction notice despite the fact that the goods in question are lying in their possession for years.
A two-member bench headed by Chairman Justice S J Mukhopadhaya passed the order in an appeal filed by the customs department against the NCLT Kolkata bench’s order, which directed the Commissioner of Customs, (Preventive) West Bengal to handover the machinery imported by Ramsarup Industries Ltd and submit their claims before the resolution professional of the company.
Ramsarup Industries, maker of wires, TMT bars and steel, had imported two consignments of machineries from Italy in April 2009. The assessment of goods were confirmed by the Assistant Commiss-ioner of Customs, ICD Durgapur, and the Kolkata-based firm was asked to pay duty of Rs 1.39 crore with applicable interest.
The NCLT on January 8, 2018, allowed Ramsarup’s insolvency plea under the IBC and declared a moratorium.