NCLAT | Pre-admission enquiry under S. 7 IBC not to be converted to full-dressed trial, NCLT directed to expedite disposal of application

National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT): Justice Bansi Lal Bhat, Member (Judicial) disposed of an appeal by Asset Reconstruction Co. (India) Ltd. with a direction to National Company Law Tribunal, Ahmedabad to expedite the disposal of the application under Section 7 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 pending before it.

Dinkar Singh, Advocate representing the appellant Asset Reconstruction Co. (Financial Creditor) submitted that an application under Section 7 for initiation of Insolvency Resolution Process against the respondent GPT Steel Industries Ltd. (Corporate Debtor) was pending before NCLT at pre-admission stage since 1-3-2018 and the matter was being adjourned time and again.

The Appellate Tribunal was dismayed to notice that a limited enquiry had been converted into a full-dressed trial. It was also stated that pre-admission proceedings cannot be permitted to protract. It was further reiterated, “Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process is not a recovery proceeding and the Adjudicating Authority has to strictly adhere to the rules of procedure and the timelines set out in the IBC. The Adjudicating Authority should be alive to the object sought to be achieved by the IBC and ensure that all efforts to derail the process are frustrated.” Having observed thus, the Appellate Tribunal disposed of the appeal by directing NCLT to expedite the disposal of the application pending before it, preferably within 2 weeks of the date of this order. [Asset Reconstruction Co. (India) Ltd. v. GPT Steel Industries Ltd., 2019 SCC OnLine NCLAT 6, dated 15-02-2019]

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