As per the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), a resolution plan has to be approved by the NCLT within this period, otherwise the company could go in for liquidation. However, the tribunal has discretionary powers to extend the timeframe or not consider time taken for litigation within the stipulated period.
“The RP’s counsel brought to our notice that the 270-day period ends on April 21. Since the hearing could not be completed, the RP will continue management of the corporate debtor until further order,” Justice Jinan KR said.
The next hearing is on Monday. UltraTech Cement, the unsuccessful bidder for Binani Cement, had on Thursday urged NCLT to reject the offer by Dalmia Bharat-controlled Rajputana Properties and accept its revised bid for the stressed asset. It had also suggested that the tribunal consider passing an interim order asking the lender’s committee to reconsider the offers made by both Dalmia and UltraTech.
UltraTech had also questioned the evaluation criteria for selection of the highest bidder. It emphasized on the point that its revised bid, which was higher by more than Rs 1,000 crore compared to that of Rajputana, should be considered since maximisation of the value of asset was one of the key criteria for resolution under IBC. Ultratech cited the example of the hearing that took place in case of Essar Steel on Thursday where the judge said the RP and committee of creditors had not ensured well that all proceedings were carried out in an efficient manner and where the committee would now have to negotiate with the two original bidders: ArcelorMittal and Numetal.
In response to UltraTech’s submission, Dalmia Bharat’s counsel on Friday argued that maximisation of value should happen in a “timebound manner” and since Ultra-Tech submitted its revised bid on March 8, almost a week after Rajputana was declared highest bidder, its offer should not be considered.
The counsel reiterated that RPPL (the Dalmia subsidiary that has bid for Binani’s asset) has complied by all rules and no illegality has been pointed out in its fully compliant resolution plan which was approved by lenders’ committee.