Tribunal/Regulatory Bodies/Commissions Monthly Roundup May 2023
Central Electricity Regulatory Commission
CERC issues ‘Category IV’ license to THDC India Ltd for inter-State trading in electricity in whole of India
In an application filed under Section 14 of the Electricity Act, 2003 (“the Act”) read with Regulation 6 of the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (Procedure, Terms and Conditions for grant of Trading Licence and other related matters) Regulations, 2020 (“the Trading License Regulations”) for grant of Category ‘IV’ trading licence for inter-State trading in electricity in whole of India, the four-member bench of Jishnu Barua (Chairperson), P.K Singh(Member), Arun Goyal(‘Member’) and I.S. Jha (‘Member’) was satisfied that THDC India Limited meets the requirements of the Act and the Trading Licence Regulations for grant of inter-State trading licence for Category ‘IV’. Thus, directed to issue Category IV licence to THDC India Limited for inter-State trading in electricity in whole of India.
[THDC India Limited, In Re, Petition No. 37/TD/2023]
Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum
DCDRC holds Cochin Airport liable for service deficiency for not providing adequate rain cover on boarding ladder; directs compensation of INR 16,000 to passenger
While deliberating over the instant consumer complaint filed regarding deficiency of service at Cochin International Airport, Ltd., (hereinafter CIAL) like the insufficiency of CISF personnel at CIAL and inadequate rain cover while boarding flights due to which the complainant got drenched in the rain and suffered from fever; the Bench of D.B. Binu (President), V. Ramachandran and Sreevidhia T.N. (Members) held CIAL liable for deficiency in service and was directed to pay compensation of Rs. 8000 for the complainant’s physical discomfort and Rs. 8000 as cost of proceedings.
[T.G.N Kumar v. Cochin International Airport Ltd., Consumer Complaint No. 393 of 2015]
DCDRC directs Apple India to either replace law student’s defective laptop or pay monetary compensation worth Rupees 2.3 lakhs
While considering the instant consumer complaint filed under Section 35 of Consumer Protection Act, 2019 seeking direction to Apple India Pvt. Ltd., to replace a defective laptop with a new one, the Bench of Justice N. Pari (President) and K.A. Vimala and K. Velumani (Members) held that Apple India Pvt. Ltd., by selling a defective laptop to the complainant, has attracted the provisions of Consumer Protection Act, 2019 dealing with “selling of defective goods”. The Commission thus directed Apple India to either replace the laptop with new defect free one of similar description or pay its actual value of Rs. 1,28,610 along with 12% interest + Rs 1,00,000 as compensation for the mental agony suffered by the complainant + Rs 5000 as cost of complaint, all of which roughly amounts to INR 2,33,610.
[Mohd. Ashik S.A. v. Apple India Pvt. Ltd., Consumer Complaint No. 26 of 2022]
DCDRC directs 67K compensation for a movie goer who suffered a rodent bite while watching movie with her family in Galleria Cinema Hall
In a decision that may motivate the cinema hall owners to be more mindful in ensuring pest control and hygiene, the Bench of A.F.A. Bora (President) and Archana Deke Lakhar and Tutumoni Deva Goswami (Members), directed Galleria Cinemas and its mangers to monetarily compensate the complainant on account of being bitten by a rodent while she was watching a movie with her family in Galleria Cinemas. The Commission relied on Sushil Ansal v. State, (2014) 6 SCC 173, stating that cinema hall owners have duty to maintain hygienic conditions in their halls.
[Sangeeta Das v. Galleria Cinemas, Consumer Complaint No. 110/2018]
Income Tax Appellate Tribunal
Income Tax Appellate Tribunal directs Assessing Officer to charge assessee at gross profit rate of 6.5% on bogus purchases
In an appeal filed against the order passed by the National Faceless Appeal Centre (NFAC), wherein the Commissioner of Income Tax (‘CIT’) confirmed the addition of Rs. 46,34,928/- to the total income of the assessee being 12.5% of Rs. 3,70,79,423/- i.e. unproved purchase , the two-member bench of Kuldip Singh* (Judicial Member) and Gagan Goyal (Accountant Member) directed the Assessing Officer (‘AO’) to charge the assessee at the gross profit rate at 6.5% on bogus purchases of Rs. 3,70,79,423/-.
[Babulal Hajarimalji Jain v. CIT, 2023 SCC OnLine ITAT 326]
National Company Law Appellate Tribunal
Once a document admitted as evidence cannot be objected at a later stage: NCLAT
In an appeal challenging the admission of assignment deed in evidence, the Division bench of Rakesh Kumar Jain,* J., and Mr. Naresh Salecha* (Technical Member) dismissed the said appeal while observing that once a document is relied upon as evidence and the said document has not been objected, it cannot be later rejected or ignored.
[Rajeev Gupta v. Standard Chartered Bank (Singapore) Ltd., 2023 SCC OnLine NCLAT 207]
[Zee-Sony merger] NCLAT sets aside NCLT order directing stock exchange to reconsider approval
The NCLAT Division Bench comprising of Rakesh Kumar, J. and Dr. Alok Srivastava (Technical Member) set aside the order passed by Adjudicating Authority directing the stock exchanges to reconsider their initial approvals regarding the merger of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. with Culver Max Entertainment on the ground of “non-compliance of the principle of natural justice.”
[Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. v. BSE Ltd., Company Appeal (AT) No. 82 of 2023]
While upholding the order passed by the Adjudicating Authority rejecting appellant’s plea for dismissal of S. 7 application preferred by the respondent, the Division bench of Ashok Bhushan*, J. and Barun Mitra (Technical Member), held that S. 10-A of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (IBC) has no application when an action is initiated for default which occurred subsequent to S. 10-A period – “25th March, 2020 to 25th March, 2021”.
[NuFuture Digital (India) Ltd. v. Axis Trustee Services Ltd., Company Appeal (AT) Insolvency No. 444 of 2023]
Threshold limit includes both principal amount and interest under IBC; NCLAT set aside NCLT’s order
In an application under S. 7 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (IBC) claiming a total debt of Rs. 1,33,68,915/- including interest, the division bench comprising of Ashok Bhushan, J. and Barun Mitra (Technical Member) held that for finding out threshold limit both amount Principal and Interest has to be computed.
[Netafirm Agricultural Financing Agency (P) Ltd. v. Baliraja Sakhar Karkhana Ltd., Company Appeal (AT) (Insolvency) No. 408 of 2023]
Intent of Corporate Debtor irrelevant in establishing existence of preferential transaction: NCLAT
The Bench of Ashok Bhushan*, J., and Barun Mitra (Technical Member) held that a Corporate Debtor entering into a transaction whether voluntary or due to pressure or threat has no relevance in concluding whether the transaction is preferential or not, the intent of Corporate Debtor is not relevant since S. 43 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (IBC) envisages statutory/deeming fiction….
[GVR Consulting Services (P) Ltd. v. Pooja Bahry, Company Appeal (AT) (Insolvency) No. 405, 369 and 412 of 2022]
What is the rule for settlement after constitution of ‘Committee of Creditors’? NCLAT Answers
In a challenge against the Adjudicating Authority admitting S. 9 IBC application filed by the Operational Creditor, Ashok Bhushan*, J., and Barun Mitra (Technical Member) held that any settlement after constitution of CoC is only permissible when the same is approved with 90% vote share of CoC.
[Rajendra Pandurang Barde v. Amit Steels, 2023 SCC OnLine NCLAT 164]
National Company Law Tribunal
NCLT admits Go Air insolvency plea
While admitting S. 10 application, a Division bench comprising of Ramalingam Sudhakar, J., and L. N. Gupta, (Technical Member) held that a creditor has limited grounds to object to S. 10 application, (1) if the debt is not due and is not payable in law or in fact or (2) the applicant is not eligible to make an application in view of its ineligibility under S. 11 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (IBC).
[Go Airlines (India) Ltd., Company Petition No. (IB)-264/(PB)/2023]
NCLT imposes exemplary cost of ₹ 5 Lakhs on Trimex Industries (P) Ltd for filing frivolous litigation
In an application under S. 60(5) of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (IBC) read with R. 11 of the NCLT Rules, 2016 seeking to set aside the ‘Letter of Intent’ dated 19-10-2022 issued by the Resolution Professional (’respondent 4’) confirming Jindal Saw Ltd. as the Successful Resolution Applicant (SRA)(‘respondent 3’), the Division Bench of Dr. N. Venkata Ramakrishna Badrinath (Judicial Member) and Charan Singh (Technical Member) dismissed the same and imposed cost of ₹ 5 Lakhs on the applicant to restrain him from filing such applications in future which consume lot of resources and time of tribunal for no meaningful purpose.
[Trimex Industries (P) Ltd. v. Sathavahana Ispat Ltd., 2023 SCC OnLine NCLT 104]
National Green Tribunal
NGT forms Joint Committee to probe allegations of environmental norms violations in constructions at CM Kejriwal’s residence
In an application filed against violation of environmental norms in construction at Flag Staff Road and Rajpur Road, Delhi, which is Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence, the three-member Bench of Adarsh Kumar Goel (Chairperson), Sudhir Agarwal (Judicial Member), Dr. A. Senthil Vel (Expert Member), constituted a Joint Committee to investigate the alleged violations of environmental norms in constructions at the residence.
[Naresh Chaudhary v. Union of India, Original Application No. 334/2023]
NGT imposes 50 crores costs on Uttar Pradesh Aawas and Vikas Parishad and 3 other Housing Realtors for environment degradation
In an application against the violation of environmental norms by the Project Proponents (PPs), – Uttar Pradesh Aawas and Vikas Parishad (UPAVP), Prateek Realtors India Pvt. Ltd. , Apex Heights Pvt. Limited and Gaur & Sons India Pvt. Limited , the three Judge Bench of Adarsh Kumar Goel (Chairperson), Sudhir Agarwal (Judicial Member), and Dr. A. Senthil Vel (Expert Member), ordered compensation of Rs. 50 crores for restoration of the environment….
[Sanjeev Kumar v. Uttar Pradesh Pollution Board, Original Application No.884/2022]
NGT denies Taxi Union’s plea to increase number of vehicles permitted to Rohtang Pass
In an application filed for modification of order passed by the National Green Tribunal (‘NGT’)/Tribunal on 09-05-2016 and 30-08-2017, wherein the number to vehicles allowed from Manali to Rohtang Pass was restricted to 1300, the three Member-Bench of Adarsh Kumar Goel (Chairperson), Sudhir Agarwal (Judicial Member) and Dr. A. Senthil Vel (Expert Member), dismissed the application seeking modification of the previous orders and said that the carrying capacity of the area did not permit relaxation.
[Court on its own Motion v. State of H.P., 2023 SCC OnLine NGT 146]
[Ludhiana Gas Leak]: NGT orders 20 lakhs compensation to heirs of 11 deceased; constitutes fact-finding Committee
The Principal Bench of National Green Tribunal (‘NGT’) initiated suo motu proceedings in the light of media report captioned “3 minors among 11 dead in Ludhiana gas leak, Punjab govt. announces Rs 2 lakh ex-gratia”. The three-member Bench of Adarsh Kumar Goel (Chairperson), Sudhir Agarwal (Judicial Member) and Dr. A. Senthil Vel (Expert Member), directed the District Magistrate (‘DM’), Ludhiana, to ensure payment of compensation of Rs. 20 Lakhs to heirs of the deceased.
[News item published in India Today dated 30.04.2023 titled “3 minors among 11 dead in Ludhiana gas leak, Punjab govt. announces Rs. 2 lakh ex-gratia”, In re, 2023 SCC OnLine NGT 166]