* NCLAT: Adjudicating authority has no jurisdiction to evaluate the decision of the committee of creditors to enquire into the justness of the rejection of a resolution plan.
* NCLAT: Advance paid towards service is operational debt.
* NCLAT: Provident fund dues are not assets of the Corporate Debtor; they have to be paid in full.
* CCI: Google's Play Store Payment Policies are anticompetitive and discriminatory.
- NCLAT: Adjudicating authority has no jurisdiction to evaluate the decision of the committee of creditors to enquire into the justness of the rejection of a resolution plan.
The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal, Chennai ("NCLAT") has, in the case of Dr. C. Bharath Chandran v. M/s. Sabine Hospital and Research Centre and Others [Company Appeal (AT) (CH) (Ins) No. 320 of 2022 and IA Nos. 677 and 710/2022], held that the adjudicating authority has no jurisdiction to evaluate the decision of the committee of creditors ("CoC") to enquire into the justness of the rejection of a resolution plan.
The present appeal is filed against the order dated June 2, 2022 ("Impugned Order") passed by the adjudicating authority ("NCLT"), whereby, the NCLT dismissed the petition filed under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 ("IBC").
The Trivandrum International Health Services Limited ("Corporate Debtor") was admitted into the corporate insolvency resolution process ("CIRP") by order dated February 7, 2020 under Section 7 (Initiation of CIRP by financial creditor) of the IBC, passed by the NCLT. Raju Palanikkunathil Kesavan ("Second Respondent") was appointed as resolution professional by the NCLT and later as the liquidator of the Corporate Debtor on the recommendation of the CoC. M/s. Sabine Hospital and Research Centre Private Limited ("First Respondent") made an application to the NCLT for being permitted to submit a resolution plan after the due date to submit an expression of interest ("EoI"). The First Respondent's name was not included in the provisional list or in the final list of the prospective resolution applicants. The Second Respondent published a public announcement in newspapers and verified the claims received and also formed the CoC. Kerala State Financial Corporation, State Bank of India & Dhanlaxmi Bank Limited were, respectively, the third, fourth and fifth respondents in the present appeal who together constituted the CoC of the Corporate Debtor.
Dr. C. Bharath Chandran ("Appellant"), the promoter and erstwhile director of the Corporate Debtor, who along with two other co-applicants, had submitted a resolution plan which was approved by the CoC at its meeting held on October 7, 2021 and a letter of intent was issued to the Appellant and his co-applicants.
The Appellant stated that as per the understanding between him and his co-applicants, the co-applicants were required to make arrangements for depositing a performance bank guarantee with the CoC. However, they failed to make the required arrangements. In view of their failure to submit the performance bank guarantee, the same being a pre-requisite to file a resolution plan, the CoC in its meeting held on October 21, 2021, authorised the Second Respondent to file for liquidation of the Corporate Debtor. The Appellant stated that he sought permission to replace two original co-applicants with two new applicants and except for replacement of the co-applicants, the resolution plan was retained exactly as approved by the CoC.
At the subsequent meeting of the CoC held on October 30, 2021, two of the financial creditors holding 64.13% stake in the CoC expressed their no-objection, which was still short of required minimum 66% voting rights required to approve a resolution plan.
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