Thursday, 14 December, 2017

HC denies any relief to Essar Steel in insolvency case

Gujarat HC dismisses Essar Steel's plea against RBI Gujarat High Court dismisses Essar Steel's plea against RBI; insolvency process to continue
Ben Pena | 17 July, 2017, 17:16

What could be a big boost for the government's drive against corporate bad loans, the Gujarat High Court today dismissed a plea by Essar Steel against the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). At the hearing on Monday, Essar Steel's counsel Mihir Thakore argued that the SBI and other lender banks under the Joint Lenders Forum may not have approached the NCLT for insolvency proceedings, had the RBI not issued the circular.

With the latest order, the interim stay granted on the proceedings against Essar Steel under the NCLT stands vacated and insolvency proceedings under the NCLT can, hence, be resumed by the lenders led by State Bank of India (SBI).

Essar Steel's creditors may now proceed with the insolvency proceedings at the NCLT, provided that this decision isn't appealed against before a Division Bench of the High Court.

Another point made by Essar Steel was that the press release issued by the RBI accounts for the financial position of the companies only until 31 March, 2016. Shares of most of the nine listed companies out of the 12 on the RBI's list are on a downtrend since then.

Martin Landau, character actor, dies at 89
His film roles ranged from the grand to the quirky, from " Cleopatra " to " The Greatest Story Ever Told ". Landau went on to teach a number of next-generation actors the craft as a coach at the Actors Studio .

Essar Steel was referred to the NCLT despite the fact that it was in an advanced stage of finalising a restructuring proposal in accordance with earlier RBI circulars, it argued.

Essar Steel is one of the dirty dozen - the 12 accounts with large unresolved NPAs (non performing assets) which the Reserve Bank of India has identified for speedy action on recovery of dues.

It should not be treated on par with the other 11 accounts because these accounts are now closed while Essar Steel is doing well with annual turnover of Rs 20,000 crore, the company said. They were also aware that lenders will file for insolvency proceedings. According to the RBI, top 12 bad loan accounts make up for Rs 2.5 lakh crore of bad debts, or 25% of the total.

RBI said in its submission to the court that the 13 June press statement was based on the recommendation of a high-level internal committee and that the central bank had no documentary evidence to produce other than the press release itself to support the decision.

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