National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT): The Coram of Kapal Kumar Vohra, Technical Member and Justice P.N. Deshmukh, Judicial Member, while addressing a matter wherein Jet Airways requested Mumbai Airport not remove its assets from its premises, expressed that,
“…it is to be noted that one of the principal objectives of the Code is to provide for revival of the CD and every attempt ought to be made to revive the CD and Liquidation being the last resort.”
An application was filed under Section 60(5) of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 in relation to the strategic assets of the Applicant (Jet Airways) which were placed at the respondent’s Hangar and other places at the airport, contending that the applicant had ceased its operation as commercial airline, prior to commencement of Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP) and respondent requested the applicant to vacate the facility made available as aforesaid which is in use of the Applicant contending that permission of subject premises granted to the Applicant for its use stood revoked.
The purpose of filing the present application was to restrain the respondent from removing the applicant’s assets lying at the respondent’s premises at Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL).
Request for unhindered access to applicants including his representatives, workmen, nominees, etc. was also made.
Analysis and Decision
Coram stated that the Resolution Mechanism was at an advanced stage and since admittedly the premises were made available to the applicant prior to when it ceased its operation as commercial Airlines and it was the applicant’s specific case that the aircrafts, engines, and auxiliary power units etc. were lying at MIAL Airport which required maintenance at regular intervals of seven, fifteen, thirty, ninety and three sixty-five days, for instance, regular check-ups of tyre pressures of aircrafts, the battery recharges and the engine runs.
In Tribunal’s opinion, if the applicant won’t be allowed to have access to the subject premises, it would certainly cause great hardships to the applicant to perform the above-stated activities which in turn would result in severe deterioration in value assets.
Applicant also stated that despite cessation of Airline operations of the CD, the Erstwhile Resolution Professional had, with the approval of the Committee of Creditors, retained a team of personnel to look for the maintenance of aircraft and engines placed at MIAL Airport including Hangar.
Therefore, the respondent was restrained from removing applicant’s assets from its premises including MIAL Hangar and not to deny access to the applicant’s representatives, workmen, nominees, etc. till the adjourned date.
Matter to be listed on 4-3-2022. [SBI v. Jet Airways, 2022 SCC OnLine NCLT 17, decided on 9-2-2022]
Appearance (via video-conference):
For the Applicant: Mr. Rohan Rajadhyaksha, Advocate
For the Respondent: Mr. Vikram Nankani, Sr Advocate