National Company Law Appellate Tribunal, New Delhi: In an appeal arising from an order in which the Adjudicating Authority rejected application filed by the appellant seeking direction from the Adjudicating Authority to accept their claim as a Financial Debt under Section 5(8) of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (IBC), a 3-member bench comprising of Ashok Bhushan, J., Barun Mitra (Technical Member) and Arun Baroka (Technical Member), dismissed the appeal for lack of merit and affirmed the Adjudicating Authority’s decision.
In the instant matter, on 31-12-2019 a Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP) began against the Corporate Debtor. The Insolvency Resolution Professional (IRP) issued a publication on 02-01-2020, with the last date for filing claims set as 18-03-2020. The appellant failed to file their claim within the specified timeframe. The Committee of Creditors (CoC) approved a Resolution Plan on 30-03-2021. The appellant filed its claim before the Resolution Professional (RP) on 04-10-2022, accompanied by an application before the Adjudicating Authority seeking direction to accept their claim as a Financial Debt under Section 5(8) of the IBC.
The Adjudicating Authority, order dated 04-09-2023, dismissed the application, citing that the claim was filed after the approval of the Resolution Plan by the CoC. The rejection was based on the non-compliance with Regulation 12 of the IBBI (Insolvency Resolution Process for Corporate Persons) Regulations, 2016, as the claim was not filed within the stipulated timeline.
Aggrieved by the impugned order, the appellant preferred the present appeal challenging the same. The appellant contended that, since the application for approval of the Resolution Plan is still pending, the Adjudicating Authority can consider their claim.
After hearing the arguments and reference to R.P.S. Infrastructure Ltd. v. Mukul Kumar, the NCLAT affirmed that claims cannot be entertained after the approval of the plan by the CoC. The NCLAT found no dispute with the facts that the claim was filed after the plan’s approval, and the appellant failed to demonstrate that their claim was reflected in the Corporate Debtor’s records.
Consequently, the NCLAT held that the Adjudicating Authority did not commit any error in rejecting the appellant’s application. The appeal was dismissed, ruling that there was no merit in the appellant’s case.
[Suraksha Realty Ltd. v. Anuj Bajpai, 2023 SCC OnLine NCLAT 2171, order dated 01-11-2023]
Advocates who appeared in this case :
Mr. Pulkit Kapoor, Counsel for the Appellant