23 August 2019: The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) has asked the Committee of Creditors of Dighi Port Ltd to approve a resolution plan for the debt-ridden firm within three weeks.
A two-member NCLAT bench, headed by Chairperson Justice S J Mukhopadhaya, also directed the Committee of Creditors (CoC) to evaluate the proposal submitted by its promoters. “While approving so, the CoC will consider as to whether the plan as may be approved is better than the proposal as given by the promoters/appellant, taking into consideration the viability and feasibility and financial matrix of all resolution plans,” the NCLAT said. “It is accepted that the matter will be decided within three weeks,” it added.
Dighi Port, which is being developed by Balaji Infra Projects in the Raigad district of Maharashtra, is going through insolvency resolution process and — Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ) and Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) were among bidders.
The CoC had earlier informed the NCLAT that total claims filed by the financial creditors against Dighi Port is more than Rs 3,000 crore. During the last hearing on July 24, 2019, the NCLAT had allowed Dighi Port Director Vishal Vijay Kalantri and other promoters to negotiate with the CoC and operational creditors to bring the company out of insolvency proceedings. However, the NCLAT observed in its hearing on Wednesday this week that though four weeks have passed, no settlement has been reached. Counsel appearing for the promoter group informed the NCLAT that the matter has been pending consideration of the CoC. While APSEZ submitted that its resolution plan has already been filed which should be considered by the CoC.
The appellate tribunal observed that considering the amendments in section 12 of the IBC (Insolvency & Bakruptcy Code), it was ” not inclined to give any time to the parties” and intend to hear the case on merit. It also gave promoters to settle the matter within two weeks with the CoC. “In the meantime, pending such settlement, the CoC will consider all the plans pending before it and after taking into consideration the viability and feasibility and other terms as fixed by the court… will approve one or the other plan,” said the NCLAT. Earlier, the lenders had rejected the resolution plan filed by APSEZ and approved JNPT bid. However, later APSEZ moved to NCLAT by filing an appeal against it.
Earlier, on July 10, the NCLAT had said that until its further orders, the NCLT will not pass any order of liquidation. Dighi Port is facing insolvency proceedings after the Mumbai bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) allowed recovery plea by DBM Geotechnics and Constructions Pvt Ltd, one of its operational creditor for non-payment of construction of multi-purpose berth on March 25, 2018. KRH MKJ