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The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) has today approved Ultratech Cement’s revised resolution plan for debt-ridden Binani Cement.
“In exercise of powers conferred by Section 31 of the ‘I&B Code’ read with order of remand by the Hon’ble Supreme Court, we have gone through the records, revised ‘Resolution Plan’ submitted by ‘Ultratech Cement Limited, gist of which noticed earlier and being satisfied that the ‘Resolution Plan’ approved by the ‘Committee of Creditors’ under subsection (4) of Section 30 in its 17th meeting held on 28th May, 2018 meets the requirements as referred to in sub-section (2) of Section 30, we approve the revised ‘Resolution Plan’ submitted by ‘Ultratech Cement.”, the Appellate Tribunal ordered.
In doing so, a two-member bench of the NCLAT headed by Chairperson Justice SJ Mukhopadhaya rejected the resolution plan submitted by Dalmia Bharat’s Rajputana Properties, calling it “discriminatory” and “unbalanced”.
The Bench observed that the plan submitted by Rajputana discriminated between “equally situated” financial creditors and did not balance other stakeholders such as the operational creditors of Binani Cement.
Therefore, its resolution plan was rightly rejected, it said.
The Bench ordered that the approval of Ultratech’s resolution plan by the Adjudicating Authority cannot be held to be illegal.
The NCLAT also remitted the records of the proceedings back to the NCLT Kolkata Bench for establishing a monitoring committee for the process.
The Appellate Tribunal had reserved its order in the litigation between Aditya Birla Group’s UltraTech Cement and the Dalmia Bharat’s Rajputana Properties in August this year.
Rajputana Properties had moved the Appellate Tribunal against the May 2 order of National Company Law Tribunal, Kolkata Bench allowing the Resolution Professional and Committee of Creditors (CoC) for Binani Cement to consider UltraTech’s revised offer of Rs 7,900 crore, while affording Rajputana Properties an opportunity to revise its resolution plan. The CoC had earlier approved Rajputana’s Rs 6,930-crore bid, but the decision was changed once Ultratech revised its offer.
The case, which witnessed a web of litigation before NCLT, NCLAT as well as the Supreme Court, was heard on a day-to-day basis by the Appellate Tribunal in August after a direction from the Apex Court to adjudicate upon all issues in the Binani Cement insolvency case, including the question of UltraTech Cement’s eligibility under Section 29A and the legality of its bid, at the earliest.
NCLT had admitted Bank of Baroda’s insolvency plea against Binani Cement on July 25, 2017 for a default of Rs 6,500 crore.
Ultratech Cement was represented by Senior Advocates Mukul Rohatgi, Dr. A. M. Singhvi, Amarendra Sharan with Advocates Mahesh Agarwal, Amar Dave, Himanshu Satija, Aastha Mehta, Devanshi Singh, Divyang, Avishkar Singhvi and Amit Bhandari.
Rajputana Properties was represented by Senior Advocates Arun Kathpalia and Gopal Subramanium with Advocates Misha, Manu Nair, Siddhant Kant, Bani Brar, Shantanu Chaturwedi, Srishti Khare and Jasveen Kaur.
Binani Cement’s parent company, Binani Industries was represented by Senior Advocates S.N. Mukherjee and Ratnako Banerjee with Advocates Arvind Kumar Gupta, Purti Marwaha Gupta, Kumar Kartikay, Abhinav Raghuvanshi, C.S. Chauhan and Henna George.
Committee of Creditors was represented by Senior Advocates Sanjiv Sen and Tushar Mehta with Advocates R. Sudhinder, Nimita Kaul, Amita Sarkar and Sumant Batra.
Resolution Professional, Vijay Iyer was represented by Senior Advocate Amit Sibal with Advocates Nakul Sachdeva, Somesh Dhawan, Pranshu Paul, Soham Kumar and Avinash Amarnath.
Read the Judgment