Company Law : Order passed by Adjudicating Authority without application of resolution professional’s for initiation of proceedings u/s 43 of IBC is unsustainable

Order passed by Adjudicating Authority without application of resolution professional’s for initiation of proceedings u/s 43 of IBC is unsustainable

Case Reference :

Sahara India Vs Nandkishor Vishnupant Despande (Delhi- NCLAT) dated 09 May 2022

Conclusion of the case:

When a statutory functionary makes an order based on certain grounds, its validity must be judged by the reasons so mentioned and cannot be supplemented by fresh reasons in the shape of affidavit or otherwise. Otherwise, an order bad in the beginning may, by the time it comes to court on account of a challenge, get validated by additional grounds later brought out…”

It reflects that the Resolution Professional, a statutory functionary, has not filed an application for initiation of proceedings under Section 43 of the Code in respect of preferential transactions and the Adjudicating Authority has passed the order, then it is supplementing it by fresh reason in through affidavit or otherwise. This is also not acceptable in the case of the Code.

Facts in brief:

The Appellant has remitted the principal amount of Rs. 39,95,00,000/- in various tranches commencing from April, 2018 to February, 2019 in accordance with the ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ (MOU) dated 07th March, 2017 with the Corporate Debtor (CD)/Respondent (in CIRP) for supply of future goods in the form of gold coins/Gold ornaments. The golds were supposed to be supplied by the CD any time after January, 2019. As per MoU vide para 1 reflects clearly that all such advance payments will not attract any interest. It is also stated at para 3 of the MOU that both the parties have agreed to fix the price of Gold coin/Gold ornaments at the prevailing market rate of the day when Gold coin/Gold Ornaments demanded is physically delivered to the Buyer as per the location(s) specified by the Buyer. The Seller also agrees to give 2% discount on the prevailing market price of Gold and will not charge making charges and delivery charges on the future demand by the Buyer (after January, 2019) and at the time of delivery of quantity. The Buyer has a right to assign its obligations and rights as per this MOU to its nominee(s) without taking prior consent of the Seller and the Seller shall not cause any hindrance are raise any objection in the same. The Seller gives at least 30 days’ notice showing its unwillingness to continue the understanding as reached between the parties and the buyer is ready to give a mutually agreed compensation as well as refund the excess amount, if any. The Ld. Counsel for the Appellant has submitted that they have informed the CD vide its letter dated 04th February, 2019 to supply of 10 kg Gold coins (100 points of 100 gram each) as obligation in accordance with the MOU. Even after long wait CD didn’t supplied, accordingly, the Appellant vide its letter dated 05th March, 2019 asked the CD to refund the amount as there is too much delay. The CD informed the Appellant vide its letter dated 11th March, 2019 to convert the advance amount of the Appellant into unsecured loan with 10% p.a. rate of interest on outstanding amount till full and final payment of the same are made to them. However, the Appellant accepted the offer after communicating the notice of default to the CD in between there are other correspondence also. ‘Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process’ was initiated against CD on 13th November 2019. Accordingly, the appellant submitted its claim in Form C. Resolution Professional considered the claims of the appellant, not in the category of ‘Financial Debt’ and as a result the appellant challenged the decision.

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