national company law appellate tribunal

National Company Law Appellate Tribunal, Chennai: While upholding the NCLT’s order, a Division bench comprising of M. Venugopal, J., and Ms. Shreesha Merla (Technical Member), held that in Project Wise Insolvency, the Interim Resolution Professional/Resolution Professional (IRP/RP) cannot seek any unpaid Fees/Costs from the members of the Committee of Creditors (CoCs) of another project of the Corporate Debtor.

Factual Matrix

In the instant matter, NCLT directed for the initiation of CIRP against the Corporate Debtor, Dreamz Infra India Ltd. on a ‘Project Wise Basis’ and appointed the appellant as Resolution Professional (RP).

The appellant preferred an application before the NCLT seeking to intervene on the ground that the CIRP cost for a prior matter in which the appellant was appointed as the RP remained unpaid. The NCLT vide order dated 07-10-2022 dismissed the said application.

Aggrieved by the impugned order dated 07-10-2022, the appellant preferred present appeal before the NCLAT to challenge the same. The appellant also preferred an application seeking condonation of delay of 145 days in filing the present appeal and further condones 42 days in preferring the present appeal.

Moot Point

Whether IRP/RP be paid for a project separate than for which they were appointed as IRP/RP?

NCLAT’s Observation

The NCLAT opined that the reason cited by the appellant for delay in preferring the present appeal, i.e., “delay in sending the reminder for obtaining the certified copy”, is satisfactory, therefore, in the interest of justice the present appeal can be condoned.

The NCLAT observed that the appellant was appointed as RP in another project of Corporate Debtor but was later removed and replaced, which means the appellant is neither the RP in the previous project nor is connected with the previous project. The NCLAT further observed that the appellant cannot seek any unpaid Fees/Costs from the members of the CoCs of another project of the Corporate Debtor.

NCLAT’s Verdict

The NCLAT upheld the impugned order passed by the NCLT and held that the appellant has no Locus standi to make claim for any unpaid Fees/Costs from the members of the CoCs.

[Ashok Kriplani v. Ramanathan Bhuvaneshwari, Comp. App. (AT) (CH) (Ins) No. 122/2023, order dated -01-2023]

*Judgment by Ms. Shreesha Merla (Technical Member)

Advocates who appeared in this case :

Mr. Ashok Kriplani, Counsel for the Appellant;

Mr. K.S. Sundar, Counsel for the Respondent No. 1.

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