RCom case: NCLT appoints RP to verify SBI’s ₹1,200-crore loan claims

Rajesh Kurup Mumbai | Updated on August 21, 2020

The 38 Indian lenders to RCom will be entitled to get ₹13,000 crore   -  REUTERS

The tribunal’s Mumbai bench adjourned approval of the current resolution plan to September 8, as the Supreme Court is hearing an insolvency petition

The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has appointed a resolution professional (RP) to verify State Bank of India’s claims that loans worth ₹1,200-crore were provided to Reliance Communications (RCom) based on personal guarantees from Chairman Anil Ambani.

Based on the RP’s report, the NCLT’s Mumbai Bench will decide whether to admit or reject the Interlocutory Application (IA) filed by SBI. On his part, Ambani is seeking advice to file an appeal against the ruling before the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT).

The tribunal has appointed Jitender Kothari as RP for the resolution process, NCLT said in its order on Thursday, issued to verify a claim by SBI, the country’s largest lender.

According to the IA, RCom in or around 2015-16 approached SBI’s Project Finance Strategic Business Unit seeking ₹565 crore for repayment of certain financial indebtedness. Another ₹ 635 crore was sought by its sister concern, Reliance Infratel Ltd (RITL).

SBI, now a financial creditor to the companies, provided the loans in 2016 on basis of Ambani’s personal guarantees. Both RCom and RITL defaulted in by January 2017, the petition said.

“The order directing appointment of the RP does not constitute an admission of SBI's insolvency application by the NCLT. The RP will examine SBI's insolvency application against Ambani and submit a report to NCLT,” a spokesperson for Ambani said.

Ambani is reviewing the order and taking advice on filing an appeal before NCLAT (higher tribunal) against the appointment. The order will have no bearing on the operations of Reliance Infrastructure Ltd, Reliance Power Ltd and Reliance Capital Ltd, he said.

Next hearing

Separately, NCLT’s Mumbai Bench has adjourned the hearing of RCom’s and RTL’s debt resolution plan, submitted by the Committee of Creditors (CoC) led by SBI, to September 8. The plan needs NCLT’s approval for implementation.

The adjournment came after the Department of Telecommunications filed an affidavit seeking the resolution plan be set aside, as the Supreme Court is hearing an insolvency petition of RCom and RTL.

The DoT, an operational creditor to RCom, has not been earmarked anything from the total ₹23,000-crore proceeds under the present resolution plan of RCom, RTL and Reliance Infratel Ltd. DoT, which has dues of over ₹31,000 crore, alleged that the current resolution plans are to dispose of RCom’s and RTL’s assets. The DoT also claimed that spectrum cannot be reallocated to any third party.


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Published on August 21, 2020

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