The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) has upheld the ₹19,300-crore bid placed by JSW Steel for Bhushan Power and Steel. It has also dismissed Tata Steel’s plea that its bid be considered as the best offer, as it had been placed ahead of deadline.

Hearing a petition filed by Tata Steel, Justices SJ Mukhopadhaya and Bansi Lal Bhat ruled that Tata Steel’s plea was “premature” and “unmaintainable” and upheld the right of the committee of creditors (CoC) to update, amend, modify or annul its resolution plans.

Tata Steel had initially pipped JSW Steel to emerge as the highest bidder for Bhushan Power, which had defaulted on loans worth ₹47,700 crore. However, Liberty House of the UK submitted a better offer after the bidding deadline. Tata Steel moved the NCLAT against the resolution professional for considering the bid submitted after the deadline. Meanwhile, JSW Steel revised its offer from ₹9,500 crore to ₹19,300 crore and it was approved by the CoC with 97 per cent vote.

Bhushan Power is among the first 12 large corporate accounts shortlisted by the RBI for insolvency proceedings. The NCLAT had reserved its order in the case on December 20 after hearing all the aggrieved parties.

“We find that the resolution plan submitted by JSW Steel has been approved by the CoC with 97.12 per cent voting shares. If some members of the CoC having 2.88 per cent voting shares remained absent... their shares should not have been counted for voting.. We hold that the Resolution Plan submitted by JSW Steel has been approved with 100 per cent voting shares,” the order said. Directing the resolution professional to send the JSW Steel bid for approval, the authority said the NCLT should ensure that there is no discrimination between financial and operational creditors.