7 August 2019: In a landmark judgement, National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has allowed submission of claims by home buyers even though the time period for submission has elapsed and resolution plan for an insolvent company has been approved by the committee of creditors (CoC).
The court gave the order in a case related to Appu Ghar Retail, a project which was being developed by International Recreation & Amusement in Sector 29, Gurugram. However, Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP) was initiated against the company in August 2018 and Pramod Kumar Sharma was appointed as the Resolution Professional (RP).
As per regulations, last date for submission of claims was November 11, 2018. The claims were however accepted till April 25, 2019. The CoC approved the resolution plan, which was filed by HGAS Apex JV, on May 22, 2019.
“Many allottees of the real estate project missed the time line because they were unaware of the initiation of CIRP,” said Sowmya Saikumar, advocate representing a home buyer.
However when they reached the RP, it rejected the claims saying that final revised/amended plan has already been obtained from the resolution applicants and in order to provide crystallised information of liability to resolution applicants, the claims cannot be accepted.
One of the home buyers filed a plea in NCLT pleading that their claims be accepted. On hearing the matter, NCLT directed the RP to accept the claims.
“It is a respite to allottees of real estate projects who miss timelines because of being unaware of the initiation of insolvency process. Now their claims can be accepted even at a belated stage i.e. even after a resolution plan has been approved by CoC and pending adjudication before NCLT,” said Saikumar.
The Regulation No. 12 (2) of IBBI (CIRP) Regulations, 2016, provides a time limit of 90 days from the CIRP Commencement date to submit the claims.