National Company Law Appellate Tribunal, Chennai: While deciding an appeal filed with a delay of 25 days, a bench comprising of M. Venugopal, J. and Ms. Shreesha Merla (Technical Member) held that the delay is beyond the permissible limit of 45 Days as provided under S. 61 of Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (IBC) and therefore the Tribunal does not have power to condone the same.
In the instant matter, the respondent, M/s. Quest Offices Limited (Financial Creditor) filed an application under S. 7 IBC before the Adjudicating Authority seeking initiation of Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP) of the appellant, the Corporate Debtor. The Adjudicating Authority vide order dated 0-06-2022 allowed the CIRP of the Corporate Debtor. Aggrieved by the impugned order of the Adjudicating Authority, the appellant filed an appeal challenging the same. The appeal was filed with an application for condonation of delay of 55 days due to time taken to obtain certified copy of order.
The Tribunal observed that the Rules of Procedure neither create any right in favour of a person, nor create a Cause of Action. If a Statute requires a certain remedy to be exercised in a particular manner and time, then the same cannot be exercised in any other manner except for the one specified.
“…the ‘procedural formalities’ (including the ‘time limit’), enshrined under the ‘Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code, 2016’, ought to be followed in true ‘letter and spirit’, because of the fact that ‘Speed’ is essence of the ‘Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code, 2016’.”
The Tribunal opined that the IBC is a self-contained and in-built legislation and invocation of S. 12 of the Limitation Act, 1963 for condonation of delay in appeal will not provide any assistance because of the overriding effect of the ingredients of S. 238 IBC.
“This ‘Tribunal’, is not to extend its ‘Judicial arm of generosity, considering the fact that the ‘Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code, 2016’, is a self-contained and inbuilt one.”
The Tribunal held that the NCLT does not have any power to condone a delay beyond 45 days and dismissed both the application for condonation of delay and the appeal for the want of limitation.
[Platinum Rent A Car (India) (P) Ltd. v. Quest Offices Ltd., 2023 SCC OnLine NCLAT 53, order dated 12-01-2023]
Advocates who appeared in this case :
Mr. V. Nallasenapathy, Counsel for the Appellant;
Ms. Aishwarya, Counsel for R&P Partners.
*Ritu Singh, Editorial Assistant has put this report together.