March 2023 \ Business & Investment \ REAL ESTATE

In a relief to over 20,000 homebuyers, the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) in March approved the Mumbai-based Suraksha Group’s bid to buy Jaypee Infratech Ltd.

New Delhi: In a relief to over 20,000 homebuyers, the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) in March approved the Mumbai-based Suraksha Group’s bid to buy Jaypee Infratech Ltd. A two-member principal bench of NCLT headed by president Ramalingam Sudhkar approved the resolution plan, after concluding the hearing and reserving the order in November 2022.

The Suraksha Group had proposed to complete around 20,000 flats in Noida and Greater Noida, which came as a relief to homebuyers who have been waiting for their homes for more than 10 years. The ruling came about six years after the construction company entered the insolvency process, and nearly two years after the lenders’ committee gave its nod for Suraksha Group’s offer.

The tribunal dismissed the objection raised by Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority, ICICI Bank and others. The bench said none of the objections could sustain or result in rejection of the resolution plan of Suraksha under consideration, in terms of Section 30(2) of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), 2016.

Citing apex court judgments, the bench said it is a well-settled principle of law that the adjudicating authority is not required to interfere with the decision taken by the Committee of Creditors (CoC) in its commercial wisdom, save and except the circumstances referred to in Section 30(2) of the IBC, 2016.

The ruling, which also comes nearly two years after the CoC gave go-ahead to Suraksha Group’s offer, will remove a major obstacle in completion of more than 20,000 housing units in various stalled projects of Jaypee Infratech Ltd (JIL). The housing units are spread across Noida and Greater Noida in the national capital region.

The tribunal said the monitoring committee as provided in the resolution plan would be set up by the applicant within 7 days of passing of this order, which shall take all necessary steps for expeditious implementation of the resolution plan as per approval.

The tribunal said Suraksha Group would deliver possession of the units to the homebuyers/allottees strictly as per the time frame promised in the resolution plan and approved by this authority. “The Monitoring Committee will supervise and monitor the progress of construction of units and related infrastructure developments on a day-to-day basis and file the progress report before this Adjudicating Authority on a monthly basis,” it said.

It further added that the approved resolution plan as annexed with COC approved addendums shall be binding on all the stakeholders of the corporate debtor and become effective from the date of passing of this order, and shall be implemented strictly as per the term of the plan and implementation schedule given therein.

JIL was among the first list of 12 companies against whom the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had directed the banks to approach NCLT for initiation of insolvency proceedings. Section 12 (1) of the IBC mandates a Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP) to be completed within a time frame of 180 days from the date of admission of the application. However, JIL was an exceptional case that faced several rounds of litigation.

In 2021, Suraksha Group won the bid with 98.66 per cent votes in the fourth round of the bidding process to find a buyer for JIL.

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