Category Archives: Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016

Provision under the (Indian) Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016

Filing of Claims during Liquidation


In an earlier post here, we have discussed filing of claims during corporate insolvency resolution process. In this post, we will discuss filing of claims during liquidation process of corporate persons. During liquidation process for a corporate debtor following forms of the IBBI (Liquidation Process) Regulations 2016 are prescribed to file claims by creditors:

  • Operational Creditors –Form C
  • Financial Creditors – Form D
  • Workmen and Employees (individually) – Form E
  • Workmen and Employees (for All) – Form F
  • Claims by other stakeholders – Form G

Most fields of these forms are identical. In case your claim is complicated or have a good amount of money involved, it is advisable to seek help of a good professional. 

The liquidation process starts after failure of the resolution process of corporate person. In the liquidation process, a creditor is required to file claims within 30 days from the date of the liquidation order. Practically, a creditor may have not more than 14-21 days from the receipt of information of the initiation of liquidation process.

Liquidation Order: Day 0

Receipt of the copy of order by Liquidator – Day 3-5

Public Announcement of Liquidation and Invitation of Claims – Day 5-10

Last Day of filing Claims – Day 30

The liquidator has no power to accept claims after 30 days. All creditors failed to file claims within these 30 days must apply the Adjudicating Authority (National Company Law Tribunal) to condone delay.

All these claim amount shall be calculated as on Liquidation Commencement Date.

The affidavit with the claim form shall be attested by Notary Public.

Common points in these Forms

Common FieldsSource of Information
Name and address of LiquidatorForm Public Announcement
Name and Address of ClaimantYour identity proofs/ loan agreements/Invoices

Certificate of Incorporation/GST details
Identification Number of ClaimantPAN/ GSTN / CoI / UID (Aadhar)
Address of ClaimantLatest Bank Statement/ Telephone or Mobile Bill/ UID (Aadhar)
Email of ClaimantIf you are not a frequent user of email, please provide your most used email address as you need to check this email address almost daily to stay updated.
  
Details of documentsList of all relevant documents
Details of any dispute as well as the record of pendency or order of suit or arbitration proceedings
Details of how and when debt incurredPlease write one paragraph summery of the default
FC – why loan taken, securities, loan disbursal,  loan period interest and due dates OC – what goods or services provided and for which period, details of period of default with first and last invoice
real estate buyers – Allotment letter, agreement to sale, details of payment made
Details of any mutual credit, mutual debts, or other mutual dealings between the corporate debtor and the creditor which may be set-off against the claimDetails if any
Details of the bank account to which the amount of the claim or any part thereof can be transferred pursuant to a resolution planPlease check your cheque book: account number, type of account, Bank name and branch address, IFSC Code, Swift Code etc
List of documents attached to this proof of claim in order to prove the existence and non-payment of claim due to the operational creditorThis will be good if proper file is prepared with proper index and page numbering.
Signature of creditor or person authorised to act on his behalfPlease attach proper authorisation.
Address of person signingAddress Proof – UID/Bank statement/ mobile or telephone bill/ Electricity bill
Liquidation commence datePublic Announcement

In the case of company or limited liability partnership, the declaration and verification shall be made by the director/manager/secretary and in the case of other entities, an officer authorised for the purpose by the entity].

Amount of Claim

In case of operational Creditor: please check and attach invoices, ledger, commercial agreement, Memorandum of understanding, contracts etc. Copy of proper ledger is strongly advisable. Where any interest is claim document like MSME registration or agreement should be attached. Interest for MSME operational Creditors 18% after first 45 days.

In case of a claim by financial creditors: Please check and attach sanction letters, loan agreement, inter-corporate loan agreement, RBI – FEMA Documentation in case of loan from foreign country, mortgage agreement, hypothecation agreement, guarantee agreements, property papers, vehicle registration details, information utility documents, ledger or bank statement or loan statement, securitization documents, DRT orders etc, name of guarantors or principal borrowers;

In case of real estate buyers: application, allotment letter, agreement to sale, sale deed, loan documentation, payment details, ledger copy or bank statement or loan agreement, RERA order, calculation sheet for interest calculation. Interest for class of creditors shall be 8% per year.

In case of Employee and workmen: appointment letter/ promotion letters/ increment letter/ latest salary slips/ TDS statement

Action Post filing claims

After filing claims, claimants should wait response from the Liquidator. The Liquidator shall respond upon your claims on or before 67th day of the Liquidation Commencement Date. In case the claimant find a requirement to modify or amend the claim, the claimant can do it within 14 days of filing of the claim.

Please follow instructions of the liquidator seeking additional information or document unless you are going to appeal against instruction. Please submit all information required. The liquidator may reject your claim if he is not satisfied with your claim. In case of rejection of claim you are required to file an appeal within 14 days of receipt of such decision. You cannot file an amendment of claim in such appeal.

Submission of false or misleading proof of claims shall attract penalties.

Filing of Claims during Insolvency Resolution


In an earlier post here, I have discussed the mode for submission of claims by various classes of creditors. During insolvency resolution process for a corporate debtor following forms are prescribed to file claims by creditors:

  • Operational Creditors –Form B
  • Financial Creditors – Form C
  • Class of Creditors (at least 10 FC in the class) – Form CA
  • Workmen and Employees (individually) – Form D
  • Workmen and Employees (for All) – Form E
  • Creditors other than those covered – Form F

Most fields of these forms are identical. In case your claim is complicated or have a good amount of money involved, it is advisable to seek help of a good professional. 

Look after your money

When you have to recover any money, we should follow up and send frequent reminders. If our amount involve is less than threshold limit to file a case of insolvency against the company or to bear the cost of recovery in normal legal process, we should wait but be vigilant. If we think company is unable to pay and not solvent, we should be careful enough to check if there is a case of insolvency against the company. These insolvency matters may be searched from website of National Company Law Tribunal. I frequently check for insolvency status of my client companies and for companies where we have invested any money.

Always look for public announcement section in the IBBI website. This is important as it is prudent to file our claim in case of insolvency within 90 days (actual time permitted is 14 days). If a creditor could not file a case within 90 days, he has to seek condonation of delay form relevant bench of the adjudicating authority.

Common points in these Forms

Common FieldsSource of Information
Name and address of Resolution ProfessionalForm Public Announcement
Name and Address of ClaimantYour identity proofs/ loan agreements/Invoices

Certificate of Incorporation/GST details
Identification Number of ClaimantPAN/ GSTN / CoI / UID (Aadhar)
Address of ClaimantLatest Bank Statement/ Telephone or Mobile Bill/ UID (Aadhar)
Email of ClaimantIf you are not a frequent user of email, please provide your most used email address as you need to check this email address almost daily to stay updated.
  
Details of documentsList of all relevant documents
Details of any dispute as well as the record of pendency or order of suit or arbitration proceedings
Details of how and when debt incurredPlease write one paragraph summery of the default
FC – why loan taken, securities, loan disbursal,  loan period interest and due dates OC – what goods or services provided and for which period, details of period of default with first and last invoice
real estate buyers – Allotment letter, agreement to sale, details of payment made
Details of any mutual credit, mutual debts, or other mutual dealings between the corporate debtor and the creditor which may be set-off against the claimDetails if any
Details of the bank account to which the amount of the claim or any part thereof can be transferred pursuant to a resolution planPlease check your cheque book: account number, type of account, Bank name and branch address, IFSC Code, Swift Code etc
List of documents attached to this proof of claim in order to prove the existence and non-payment of claim due to the operational creditorThis will be good if proper file is prepared with proper index and page numbering.
Signature of creditor or person authorised to act on his behalfPlease attach proper authorisation.
Address of person signingAddress Proof – UID/Bank statement/ mobile or telephone bill/ Electricity bill
Insolvency commence datePublic Announcement

This is advisable to send declaration as proper notary affidavit though term used is declaration not affidavit.

In the case of company or limited liability partnership, the declaration and verification shall be made by the director/manager/secretary and in the case of other entities, an officer authorised for the purpose by the entity].

Amount of Claim

In case of operational Creditor: please check and attach invoices, ledger, commercial agreement, Memorandum of understanding, contracts etc. Copy of proper ledger is strongly advisable. Where any interest is claim document like MSME registration or agreement should be attached. Interest for MSME operational Creditors 18% after first 45 days.

In case of a claim by financial creditors: Please check and attach sanction letters, loan agreement, inter-corporate loan agreement, RBI – FEMA Documentation in case of loan from foreign country, mortgage agreement, hypothecation agreement, guarantee agreements, property papers, vehicle registration details, information utility documents, ledger or bank statement or loan statement, securitization documents, DRT orders etc, name of guarantors or principal borrowers;

In case of real estate buyers: application, allotment letter, agreement to sale, sale deed, loan documentation, payment details, ledger copy or bank statement or loan agreement, RERA order, calculation sheet for interest calculation. Interest for class of creditors shall be 8% per year.

In case of Employee and workmen: appointment letter/ promotion letters/ increment letter/ latest salary slips/ TDS statement

Action Post filing claims

After filing claims, claimants should wait response from the Resolution Professional. Please follow instructions of the resolution professional unless you are going to appeal against instruction. Please submit all information required. The resolution professional may hold your claim till all required documents or information is received.

Please note, all resolution professional collect and collate claims on provisional basis only.  The resolution professional may revise accepted claim amount any time if there is any additional information is made available either by claimant or corporate debtor.

 It is advisable to sent reminder if there is no response in seven to ten days of filing claims. Sometime, the resolution professional may advise you to file an application against him for admission of your claim. This may be for various reason.

CLASS OF CREDITORS – AUTHORISED REPRESENTATIVE


The concept of the class of creditors took shape when thousands of home – buyers fought together up to the highest available courts (judicial and political) in India. 

The class of creditors does not means but includes home-buyers or real estate buyers. Class of creditors is a group of 10 or more financial creditors other than banks and financial institutions or trustees in financial securities or deposits. In practice, we often meet home-buyers or real-estate-buyers as the class of creditors. 

In case of CIRP – corporate insolvency resolution process, appointed interim resolution professional immediately after appointment by the Adjudicating Authority (National Company Law Tribunal), ascertain the existence of a class of creditors if any. If it seems that there is a class of creditors, the interim resolution professional identifies three insolvency professionals willing to act as an authorised representative of creditors in the class. 

Under the law, the authorised representative can receive up to Rs 25,000/- per meeting of the committee of creditors. Representing a class in a daylong meeting at such remuneration may seem a lucrative job, but a good authorised representative do much work for the class of creditors without remuneration – like queries received from any member of the class he is representing. These queries generate from a lack of financial knowledge, lack of understanding of the insolvency resolution process, market rumours on social media and speculative news published in responsible media. 

Once the interim resolution professional identifies three insolvency professionals as a candidate for the job of an authorised representative, he publishes by way of advertisement a public announcement inviting claims from creditors.

When the interims resolution professional received sufficient claims from creditors in the class, he will file an application for the appointment of the authorised representative. This application shall be filed within two days of verification of claim received within 14 days from the CIRP commencement date.

Please note, there is another provision that allows creditors to file claims till 90 days from the insolvency resolution commencement date, but claims filed after 14 days shall not be considered for the purpose of appointment of the authorised representative. 

Practically, it may not be possible to have an appointed authorised representative in the first meeting of the committee of creditors. Any delay in the appointment of the authorised representative for any class of creditors shall not affect the validity of any decision taken by the committee.

Once the authorised representative is appointed, the resolution professional shall provide a list of creditors in the class to the respective authorised representative appointed by the Adjudicating Authority.

The authorised representative shall use an electronic means of communication between the authorised representatives and the creditors in the class. In practice, the email address of the authorised representative may serve the purpose.

The authorised representative under law shall attend the meetings of the committee of creditors and vote on behalf of each financial creditor to the extent of his voting share. For the purpose of voting, the authorised representative shall rely on pre-instruction voting.

When the authorised representative receives a notice and agenda for the meeting from the resolution professional, he shall circulate the agenda to creditors in a class. He may seek their preliminary views on any item in the agenda to enable him to participate in the committee meeting effectively. Any creditor in the class may submit his preliminary views to the authorised representative within twenty-four hours. These preliminary views are not their voting instructions.

The authorised representative for a class of creditors shall cast his vote on behalf of all the financial creditors he represents in accordance with the decision taken by a vote of more than fifty per cent of the voting share of the financial creditors he represents, who have cast their vote. In a simple language, each class of creditors shall vote as its majority. This is a general majority rule for voting on behalf of a class of creditors. There is an exception to his majority rule.

For a vote to be cast in respect of an application under section 12A, the authorised representative shall cast his vote individually as per each instruction.

The Timelines:

Receipt of appointment order by interim resolution professional – Day zero;

Identifying three potential candidates for the job of an authorised representative – Day 1;

Draft public announcement and got it translated in other languages – Day 2;

Publication of the public announcement – Day 3;

First cut-off day to receive claims – Day 14;

Verification of claims received before first cut-off date – Day 21;

 Application for appointment of an authorised representative – Day 22

MODE FOR SUBMISSION OF CLAIMS


Insolvency and Bankruptcy law is affecting ordinary people outside business houses, including real estate buyers. Mode for submission of claims before the Resolution Professional or liquidators has one of the technical questions.

Under the insolvency and bankruptcy law, claimants before Resolution Professional or liquidator may either be of the following categories:

– Financial Creditors;

– Class of (financial) Creditors (There must be at least 10 Financial Creditors to form a class of creditors);

– Operational Creditors;

– Workmen and Employees (individually);

– Workmen and Employees (for All); or

– other than those covered.

All these categories for creditors should file their claims before the resolution professional or liquidators.

Under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (Insolvency Resolution Process for Corporate Persons) Regulations, 2016 prescribed mode to submit a claim is hereunder:

• In Electronic Form

– Financial Creditors – Form C

– Class of Creditors (at least 10 FC) – Form CA 

• By post or by electronic means 

– Operational Creditors –Form B

– Workmen and Employees (individually) – Form D

– Workmen and Employees (for All) – Form E

• In person, by post or by electronic means

– other than those covered – Form F

Please note, this is my presumption that common claims for numerous workers or employees be filed either through post or electronic mode. Unfortunately, the relevant sub-regulation is silent on this aspect.

There are a similar provision under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (Liquidation Process) Regulations, 2016.

What will happen if a person does not file a claim in the legally mandated mode to submit their claim. Will the resolution professional or liquidator deny accepting these claims? Will it be proper compliance of law on the part of the insolvency professional to accept all claims in person? 

I have no answer. 

To avoid, I prefer submission of claim in electronic mode with a copy of these claims in physical format. Physical format, particularly in case of big bank loan, become bulky, but it helps cross-reference while verifying these claims. Further, it is not easy to notice alterations in soft copies.

I also advise claimants should not send original documents except claim forms and verification undertaking or affidavit.

NEW NORMAL AT NCLT– ONLINE HEARING


The year 2020 is an unprecedented year of unusual era. Technology is helping us to survive. In an earlier post Virtual Reception, Lobby and Meeting Rooms, we discussed the process of online hearing in NCLT and NCLAT. Both Tribunals were till recently hearing urgent matters only. Now, Tribunals are switching to regular cause lists. With new normal, tribunals will hear matters in video conferencing mode.

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Promoters in doubt to file settlement proposal during Liquidation Process


Guest Post: Adv. Nitin Kumar Kaushik (Insolvency Professional) advnitinkaushik@gmail.com Mob: 70422-58781

Issue: whether the withdrawal of application filed by the Applicant under section 7, 9 and 10 of IB Code can be permitted by the NCLT post liquidation order passed under section 33 of IB Code. OR, can promoter be entitled to propose a scheme of the arrangement after passing Liquidation Order under Section 33 of IB Code?

Earlier, as per Rule 8 of Insolvency and Bankruptcy (Application to Adjudicating Authority) Rules, 2016 (“CIRP Rules”), the National Company Law Tribunal may permit withdrawal of Section 7, 9 and 10 of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (“IB Code”), on a request by the applicant before its admission. However, at that time, there was no provision in the IB Code to permit withdrawal of the CIRP process after the admission of CIRP.

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Recapitulation Cross-Border Insolvency


Guest Post Author: Riya Gulati

Prologue

Cross-border insolvency modulates the treatment of financially distressed borrowers where such borrowers have creditors or assets in more than one nation. International insolvency chiefly accentuates on three modules: choice of law, jurisdiction and enforcement of dictum rules. Indeed, cross-border insolvency fetches with it a host of legal and ethical convolutions and ramifications. Nonetheless, in the matters pertaining to the international insolvency cases, the prime focus inclines on the recognition of foreign functionaries and their powers. The UNCITRAL Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency and the EC Regulation on Insolvency Proceedings 2000 are the two fundamental contemporaneous regimes for the cross-border insolvencies that have been executed on something outspread than a territorial basis.

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Provident Fund/ Pension/ Gratuity is not part of Liquidation Estate


Guest Post: Adv. Nitin Kumar Kaushik (Kaushik Insolvency Professionals)

Numbers of Insolvency Professionals or Liquidators are facing the problem with respect to whether the Provident Fund/Pension Fund/Gratuity Fund is part of liquidation estate or not under Section 36 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 “IBC”. Generally, what happens, the Company had deducted the amount, in the form of provident fund or pension fund or gratuity amount, from the salary of the employee/workmen and then did not deposited or failed to deposit in the account of Employees Provident Fund Organisation “EPFO” or Pension Fund Organisation “PFO”. Thereafter, the government department i.e., EPFO or PFO attached the property of the Corporate Debtor in respect of dues of provident fund or pension fund or gratuity amount on the Corporate Debtor, even the attached property already mortgaged with any of the financial institutions or not.

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Case Note: Standard Chartered Bank Vs S K Gupta, NCLAT


Dhiraj Yadav, 4th Year Law Student, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University, Lucknow; and
Urvashi Gattani, 3rd year Law Student, ILS, Pune

Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 has been severely tested since its enactment. However, constructive interpretation by the judiciary coupled with effective amendments to the Code has flooded the gates with teething issues.

In the instant case, Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process was initiated against ‘Essar Steel India Limited (“Corporate Debtor”), and pursuant to which the Committee of Creditors (“CoC”) approved the Resolution Plan submitted by ArcelorMittal India Pvt. Ltd.(‘Successful Resolution Applicant’) which was adjudged by NCLT, Ahmedabad Bench with certain modifications by the impugned order dated 8th March 2019. The successful resolution applicant in its resolution plan made the following categorisation:

Financial Creditors

(i) Secured Financial Creditors (having a charge on project assets of the ‘Corporate Debtor’);

(ii) Secured Financial Creditors (having no charge on project assets of the ‘Corporate Debtor’);

(iii) Unsecured Financial Creditors (with admitted claims less than Rs.10, 00,000);

(iv) Unsecured Financial Creditors (with admitted claims equal to or above Rs. 10, 00,000).

Operational Creditors

(i) Operational Creditors (workmen and employees);

(ii)The Operational Creditors (other than workmen and employees), but admitted claim amount is less than Rs. 1 Crore and

(iii) The Operational Creditors (whose admitted claim is equal to or more than Rs. 1 Crore).

According to the resolution plan, the first two categories of the operational creditors were proposed to be paid 100% of their dues, but the rest of the Operational Creditors whose claim admitted is Rs. 1 Crore or more, have been proposed with NIL amount i.e. 0% (zero per cent).

However, pursuant to this bifurcation numbers of appeals were preferred by the Operational Creditors and the Financial Creditors, on similar ground. These appeals were clubbed together to answer the question of law involved. The grievances of the Operational Creditors have been that in the resolution plan 0% of their debt has been proposed to be paid and claims of some of the Operational Creditors have been notionally assessed at Re. 1/- (average) by the ‘Resolution Professional’ without any basis.

Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) being one of the Financial Creditors, alleged that they were not equated with other Financial Creditors. All the Financial Creditors have been allowed 91.99% of their claim amount, whereas the claim of SCB has been categorised as-

  • ‘Secured Financial Creditors’ (having a charge on project assets of the Corporate Debtor) ─ in respect of claim amount of Rs. 3,487.10 Crores and SCB has been shown as Secured Financial Creditors but it has not been allowed 91.99% of the claim amount as allowed in favour of other Financial Creditors. SCB has been provided with 1.74% of the claim amount on the ground that it has no charge on project assets of the Corporate Debtor.
  • Unsecured Financial Creditors in respect of claim amount of Rs. 70.34 Crore has been allowed 4.08% of the claim amount.

The following Questions of Law  arising from this appeal and the earlier preferred appeals have been answered by the Hon’ble NCLAT in this pertinent case:

  1. Whether the distribution as shown in the ‘Resolution Plan is discriminatory and can the Financial Creditors be classified on the ground of a Secured Financial Creditor having charge on project assets of the Corporate Debtor and Secured Financial Creditor having no charge on the project asset of the Corporate Debtor or on the ground that the Financial Creditor is an Unsecured Financial Creditor?

Financial Creditors being Claimants at par with other Claimants like other Financial Creditors and the Operational Creditors having conflict of interest cannot distribute the amount amongst themselves that too keeping the maximum amount in favour of one or other Financial Creditors and minimum or ‘NIL’ amount in favour of some other Financial Creditors or the Operational Creditors. This violates Section 30 (2) and Regulation 38 (1A).

There is also discrimination made by CoC in the distribution of the proposed amount to Operational Creditors qua the Financial Creditors. The distribution is discriminatory and arbitrary. Classification of Financial Creditors is also discriminatory.

Therefore, Appellate Tribunal observed that as per the definition of the creditor in the Code, it includes a ‘Financial Creditor’, an ‘Operational Creditor’, a ‘Secured Creditor’, an ‘Unsecured Creditor’ and a decree-holder. Also as per the definition of Financial Creditor and Financial Debt (Section 5 (7)& (8), there is no distinction made between one or other ‘Financial Creditor’. All of such person form one class i.e. ‘Financial Creditor’ they cannot be sub-classified as ‘Secured’ or ‘Unsecured Financial Creditor’ for the purpose of preparation of the ‘Resolution Plan’.

  1. Whether the Operational Creditors can be validly classified on the ground of:
  2. employees of the Corporate Debtor
  3. those who have ‘supplied goods’ and ‘rendered services’ to the ‘Corporate Debtor’ and
  4. the debt payable under the existing law (statutory dues) to the Central Government or the State Government or the Local Authorities?

The Hon’ble  Appellate Tribunal held that the Operational Creditors can be classified for determining the manner in which the amount is to be distributed to them, they are to be given the same treatment if similarly situated.

Thus the classification of Operational Creditors in the Resolution Plan is upheld and not discriminatory as the Operational Creditors whose claim is more than Rs. 1 Crore or the ‘Central Government’ or the ‘State Government’ or the ‘Local Authority’, who raise their claim on the basis of the statutory dues, cannot ask for same treatment as allowed in favour of the Operational Creditors like employees or those who have ‘supplied goods’ and ‘rendered services’ having claim less than Rs.1 Crore, are provided with 100% dues of their claim amount.

  1. Whether the ‘Committee of Creditors’ can delegate its power to a ‘Sub Committee’ or ‘Core Committee’ for negotiation with the ‘Resolution Applicant’ for revision of plan and is it empowered to distribute the amount amongst the ‘Financial Creditors’ and the ‘Operational Creditors’ and other Creditors?

A ‘Sub-Committee or ‘Core Committee’ is unknown and against the provisions of the IBC. There is no provision under IBC which permits constitution of a ‘Core Committee’ or ‘Sub-Committee’ nor the IBC or Regulations empowers the ‘Committee of Creditors’ to delegate the duties of the ‘Committee of Creditors’ to such ‘Core Committee’/ ‘Sub-Committee’.

Therefore, the Committee of Creditors’ cannot delegate its power to a ‘Sub Committee’ or ‘Core Committee’ for negotiating with the ‘Resolution Applicant(s)’. The manner of distribution of amount among various stakeholders is the exclusive domain of the Resolution Applicant.

The said provision makes it clear that the ‘Resolution Applicant’ in its ‘Resolution Plan’ must provide the amount it proposes to pay one or other Creditors, including the ‘Operational Creditors’ and the ‘Financial Creditors’ that means if the ‘Resolution Plan’ does not show the distribution amongst the ‘Financial Creditors’ and the ‘Operational Creditors’, it cannot be placed before the ‘Committee of Creditors’.

Conclusion

The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code,2016 is experiencing a seesaw of judgments where time and again rights of Financial and Operational Creditors rights have been determined. As per this judgment following the precedents set up in the case of Binani Judgments and in Swiss Ribbons Financial and Operational Creditors have been treated at par. Amount earned during the process by the company, where the Resolution Applicant is not paying full, the profits have been given to the creditors – financial and operational. It has also serious relevance where the resolution plan has been approved and accepted by the lender whether the said lender has any rights left against the principal borrower under the guarantee or otherwise This judgment will have a far-reaching impact in the future when the law of precedent will be referred to.

Contact Detail: raodhiraj123@gmail.com

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PROCEDURE UNDER THE SARFAESI ACT, 2002


Shreesh Chadha
4th Year BALLB Student,
Jindal Global Law School
Sonipat

In the Statement of Object and Reasons of the Securitization and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act,2002(hereinafter SARFAESI,2002 or Act,2002), it is stated that the recovery of loans was a slow process which consequently resulted in the “mounting levels of Non-Performing Assets”. This act provides for the realization of any security interest in the favour of any secured creditor “without the intervention of the court or tribunal”[1]. This has resulted in a speedy recovery of Non- Performing Assets.

Under this act secured creditors (banks or financial institutions) have many rights for enforcement of security interest under S. 13 of SARFAESI Act, 2002. If the borrower of financial assistance makes any default in repayment of the loan or any instalment and his account is classified as Non-Performing Asset by a secured creditor, then secured creditor may require before the expiry of the period of limitation[2]by written notice. The Impugned Act, does not cover a certain class of assets, for example, any asset other than a non-performing asset, or unsecured loans, loans below ₹100,000 or where remaining debt is below 20% of the original principals stated in S. 31 of the SARFAESI Act,2002.

WHAT IS THE PROCEDURE FOR SALE/AUCTION THAT THE SECURED CREDITOR NEEDS TO FOLLOW?

The procedures laid down in the SARFAESI Act,2002, as well as the Security Enforcement (Rules), 2002, are mandatory, and no divulgence from the same is permitted, as held by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India.[3] The procedures to be followed under the Act,2002 are stated hereinbelow.

Procedure of Physical Possession of the secured asset:

  • If the borrower defaults in repayment, under S. 13(2) a demand notice is to be sent by Secured Creditor to the borrower to discharge his liabilities. Such notice persists for 60 days. The demand notice shall contain details and amounts of the amount payable by the borrower.[4] This demand notice can also be objected to by the borrower, which should be replied by the secured creditor within 15 days, and the reply should enumerate the reasons for non-acceptance of such objection. This position was clarified by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India[5]and later amended into the SARFAESI Act, as S. 13 (3A).
  • When the 60 day period concludes, without any discharge by the Borrower, actions can be taken by the Secured Creditor as enumerated under S. 13 (4)- wherein they can take possession of the secured assets, take over the management of the asset, appoint any person to manage the secured asset, require any person who has acquired any of the assets from the borrower to pay the secured creditor.
  • The actions under S. 13 (4) are appealable as enumerated in S. 17- 18. Therefore, the borrower can appeal the actions of the secured creditor in Debt Recovery Tribunal, DRAT, writ in High Court and SLP in Supreme Court.

Procedure of Sale and Auction under the SARFAESI Act,2002:

  • A Sale Notice is required in the case of auctioning off of the secured asset if inviting tenders from the public, or by way of public auction. This sale notice shall be published in 2 leading newspapers, on the website of the secured creditor, and as per the Directions of the Ministry of Finance directions, upload the tender notice on tender.gov.in.
  • The sale notice or possession notice should be effectively served, I.e. in 2 newspapers in circulation in the area as provided for in the SECURITY INTEREST (ENFORCEMENT) RULES,2002.
  • More particularly, the procedure for an auction of immovable assets is given in Rule 8, Security Interest (Enforcement) Rules,2002. the methods of sale of the immovable secured assets include:

(a) by obtaining quotations from the persons dealing with similar secured assets or otherwise interested in buying such assets; or

(b) by inviting tenders from the public;

(c) by holding public auction; or

(d) by private treaty.[6] (after the possession of the asset by a Bank or Financial Institution, they might be willing to sell it to an appropriate buyer through a private deal with a third party)

Procedure regarding payment by purchaser:

The first step is determining the Reserve Price which is the minimum fair market value of the immovable asset as stipulated by the authorized officer, followed by the relevant notice according to the obligations enumerated in Rule 8 (6). The bidding process for public auction shall be done in accordance with Rule 9, Security Interest Rules, 2002 wherein the bidder shall deposit:

(1) Earnest money deposit (at the time of bidding)

(2) 25 per cent of the accepted sales price (including EMD) after successful bidding

(3) 75 per cent of the balance amount within 15 days of the auction.

Upon completion of the above, the sale certificate shall be issued to him. Otherwise, any sale by any other method other than public auction shall be on terms and conditions as decided by the parties.[7]It is also mandated under the Security Interest Rules,2002 that the amount of sale shall not be less than the reserved price.

 àWHAT ARE THE OTHER REMEDIES AVAILABLE TO SECURED CREDITORS?

Section 14 of the Act, 2002 provides a provision for the assistance of the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate andDistrict Magistrate in taking possession of the property. According to the Hon’ble High Court of Madras has held that this provision should be given a purposive interpretation in consonance with the Statement of Objects and Reasons of the SARFAESI Act,2002. It was held that the purpose of this provision is to aid the secured creditor of obtaining possession of the asset as soon as possible, and convert a Non-Performing Asset into a source of recovery for the amount due, and transfer the secured asset to a willing third party.[8]

However, it is pertinent to mention that all the rights and interests of symbolic and/or physical possession guaranteed to the secured creditor under the Act,2002 extinguish after the sale to the third party is complete. From the date of the registration of the sale deed, the secured creditor does not have any remedy or course of action under S. 13 or S. 14 of the SARFAESI Act,2002.

In instances where the secured creditor is unable to claim possession over the secured asset after the expiry of the period of the demand notice under S. 13(2) of the Act,2002 specifically due to tenancy rights that might exist over the said asset, the rent or any other amount which might become due on the said secured asset from the lessee to the borrower (if any) becomes due to the secured creditor. This position was enumerated in S. 13 (4) of the Act,2002, and was solidified by the Hon’ble Supreme Court [9].

Therefore, within the 4 walls of the Act,2002 the secured creditor is well protected if the correct procedure is followed. The SARFAESI Act,2002 is one such legislation that genuinely removes unnecessary and frivolous litigation from the courts, and provides safeguard against the initiation of such litigation at the option of both, the defaulting borrower as well as the secured creditor.

(Views express in this post are of the author, this blog do not take any responsibility.)

E-mail of auther- shreeshchadha @ gmail.com

[1] S. 13 (1), SARFAESI Act, 2002.

[2] S. 36,SARFAESI Act,2002.

[3]ITC Limited v. Blue Coast Hotels Ltd. &OrsCIVIL APPEAL Nos. 2928-2930 OF 2018.

[4] S 13 (3), SARFAESI Act,2002.

[5]Mardia Chemicals Ltd. v. Union of IndiaTransfer Case (civil)  92-95 of 2002.

[6] Rule 8 (6), Security Interest Rules,2002.

[7] Rule 8(8), Security Interest Rules,2002.

[8]Kathikkal Tea Plantations v. State Bank of IndiaMANU/TN/1926/2009.

[9]Harshad Govardhan Sondgar v. International Asset Reconstruction((2014) 6 SCC 1).

Ease of Doing Business Report 2019 – Corporate Law Perspective


Once upon a time falling in the line of World Bank was not fine for at least half of the world. The scenario is changing. There is a rumour that economies not only reforms but also window dress it.

India placed this year at the 77th place with 67.23 EODB scores. Unlike a layman, this EODB score concerns the exports. When we talk about this ranking is a rating of Delhi and Mumbai, not any other place. It might possible other states/cities doing better and not reflected in the report.

“India also focused on streamlining business processes. Under its National Trade Facilitation Action Plan 2017-2020, India implemented several initiatives that improved the efficiency of cross-border trade, reducing border and documentary compliance time for both exports and imports (figure 1.9). Enhanced risk-based management now allows exporters to seal their containers electronically at their own facilities; as little as 5% of shipments must undergo physical inspections. India also invested in port equipment, strengthened management and improved electronic document flow. By implementing the Single Window Clearance System in Delhi and the Online Building Permit Approval System in Mumbai during the second half of 2017, India also continued to streamline and centralize its construction permitting process. Regarding getting electricity, newly-adopted regulations from the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission require that electrical connections be completed within 15 days of the application’s acceptance. To comply with this regulation, Tata Power Delhi Distribution deployed more personnel as well as tracking tools and key performance indicators to monitor each commercial connection.” {Page 12}

A print version of the report may be downloaded from here.

SPICe added to the report

The report mentioned that India is among nation who improved by making it easier to start a business. India made starting a business easier by fully integrating multiple application forms into a general incorporation form.

Starting a Business

The starting a business ranking is fairly poor despite mentioning of SPICe in the report. The starting a Business rank among 190 economies is 137. On the scale of 100, the score for incorporation is 80.96. Starting a business in India involves 10 procedures involving 16.5 days. It cost 14.4% of per capita income of Indians. It means it is still not easy to start a formal business for an average Indian. This fact cause concern as there is no legal requirement of minimum capital for a business.

Minority Protection

This is good news. Our ranking is fairly good at 7th place with a score of 80. It can be understood that most economies are not doing fair on minority protection. So, it may not be our best efforts but the poor performance of most economies.

The extent of disclosure index (0–10) 8

The extent of director liability index (0–10) 7

Ease of shareholder suits index (0–10) 7

The extent of shareholder rights index (0–10) 10

The extent of ownership and control index (0–10) 8

The extent of corporate transparency index (0–10) 8

Resolving Insolvency

Insolvency is a very interesting phenomenon presently in India. Our improved rank is 108, a number which Indians love. Insolvency Resolution Score is 81.85. An average time for insolvency resolution is one year presently. This is quite embracing as against the promised 180 days. However, we are facing many practical issues and teething troubles.

Cost of Insolvency resolution is 3.5% of the estate evolved. Recovery rate is 85.3 cent in the Dollar.

In India the establishment of debt recovery tribunals reduced nonperforming loans by 28% and lowered interest rates on larger loans, suggesting that faster processing of debt recovery cases cut the cost of credit.

A recent study using Doing Business data showed that insolvency resolution is one of the main drivers behind “missing” corporate bond markets in many economies. More borrowers gain access to credit in economies with a robust legal system that supports the use of movable assets as collateral and a well-developed credit information sharing system.

Other major reform related to business

India (Delhi) issued a regulation prescribing new electricity charges.

India introduced the Maharashtra Goods and Services Tax Act 2017 and the Delhi Goods and Services Tax Act 2017, which unified all sales taxes into one new tax called the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Performance on corporate law front

Overall performance on corporate law front is not satisfactory. We can notice that last year insolvency related score and rating were improved due to the introduction of the law. Practical implementation of the same was not so satisfactory. Same is also true for incorporation of a company or starting a business.

Targeted reforms

This is unfortunate that government across economies trying to improve their ease of doing business ranking and not taking a holistic approach on reforms. Various segments which might need attention but not directly related to the ranking are not taken care of.

Anyway it is good to see reforms.

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Managing a Going Concern


[A version of this article was published in July – August 2017 issue of Newsletter of The ICSI – WIRC Pune Chapter.]

These days, media hype talk about a new magical law to reduce nonperforming assets from the books of lender banks and financial institutions. There is no such new law. There is a law for insolvency resolution. This law also deals with the possibility of liquidation which may trigger after the failure of resolution of insolvency.

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Amendment in Corporate Insolvency Regulations


Recent case of Jaypee Infratech, question arises where should home-buyers be classified? Are home-buyers financial creditors or operational creditors? In case, home-buyers they classify themselves as operational creditors, will they forego their claim on interest or assured return on their advances? In case, home-buyers they classify themselves as financial creditors, will they forego their claim over homes? This was a game of dice, will company be able to resolve insolvency or face liquidation?

These amendments try to solve these issues.

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Managing Corporate Debtor under Resolution


My well criticized last post “Insolvency Professional ‘Non’ Entities” mentioned, “The Term “Insolvency Professional Entity” has no mention in the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016. This is sole creation of anxieties of newly enrolled registered Insolvency Professionals reflected in Regulation 12 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (Insolvency Professionals) Regulations, 2016.” Most insolvency professionals, except few like me, are anxious about managing corporate debtor as a going concern. Every worry has its solution.

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Insolvency Professional “Non” Entity


The Term “Insolvency Professional Entity” has no mention in the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016. This is sole creation of anxieties of newly enrolled registered Insolvency Professionals reflected in Regulation 12 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (Insolvency Professionals) Regulations, 2016. This magic creation has no purpose except one apart from its legal existence.

[This post already published in NIRC – NIRC Newsletter June 2017] Continue reading

Cracking Limited Insolvency Examination


This was first attempt. I studied about 120 hours. But after lot of discussion with many who attempted it with or without success, in first attempt. I made strategy and changed it slightly just 20 study hours before examination on advice.

Last advice I received was not to try too much question. Due to negative marking you should touch your most positive questions. We should care positivity more, if negativity surround.

In first round of 70 minutes, I read all questions and answered most sure one. I marked all other questions for review. In second round of 20 minutes, I reviewed all marked questions and decided not to attempted most of them. Now, out of my target of 70 out of 90, I did only 69 questions.  Now, in final round of 30 minutes, I reviewed all questions once. This did the trick.

But, passing this examination or any examination is not about tricks only. In an examination with multiple choice questions coupled with negative marking need concentration of minor details. Section numbers, penalties, imprisonment, rules, regulations, timelines, definitions and case laws are just a few critical points. No model paper can cover all these in a comprehensive manner. You have to study from original sources. I read law directly from bare published by ICSI – Insolvency Professional Agency.

With age, we may loss our memory and become adamant. Experience usually comes with overconfidence. When new law come into statute books, it changes rule of game more dramatically than we understand.

I was well advised to focus 90% on 60% of syllabus to be covered. I revised all old laws in syllabus in first day of my preparation not to touch again. I cannot memorise all these minor details missed earlier. This was time to focus on new law – the king of the examination concerned. I noted down all possible minor details and left confusing details for practical life outside this examination.

In professional life and examination you cannot take risk with your time. I enrolled for back to back three attempts spread over two weeks. There was another risk for me, the syllabus is about to be revised from fourth week. My failure may require me to cover more diversification and enrichment in new syllabus.

I am indebted to all my family, seniors, critics, friends, relatives and well wishers.

I am thankful to following person more directly for this success, in alphabetical order –

Hari Babu Thota
ICSI
ICSI IPA
Jinesh Kulshreshtha
Lakshmi Arun
Prabhjit Singh Soni
RajKumar S Adukia

Rakesh Kumar Jain

 

Completion of Voluntary Liquidation


Successful completion of a process is as important as its beginning. Voluntary liquidation process is not only a completion of liquidation but result in dissolution of the company.

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REALISATION OF ASSETS AND DISTRIBUTION OF PROCEEDS


Once voluntary liquidation process started; satisfaction of claim becomes primary exercise. For this purpose, this is duty of liquidator handling voluntary liquidation to realize all assets of corporate person and distribute the proceeds.

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Claims in Voluntary Liquidation


Satisfaction of claims is essential part of any liquidation. According to clause (6) of section 3 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016, “claim” means—

(a) a right to payment, whether or not such right is reduced to judgment, fixed, disputed, undisputed, legal, equitable, secured or unsecured;

(b) right to remedy for breach of contract under any law for the time being in force, if such breach gives rise to a right to payment, whether or not such right is reduced to judgment, fixed, matured, unmatured, disputed, undisputed, secured or unsecured.

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Liquidator in voluntary liquidation


In recent posts, we discussed voluntary liquidation and its commencement. In liquidation, liquidator play crucial role.

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