Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) has decided to continue its novel approach of preparation of a common panel of qualified interim resolution professionals (IRP), resolution professionals (RP), or liquidators from which the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) can readily select and make appointments under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC).

With the earlier set panel’s term coming to an end on June 30, the IBBI has set the ball rolling for setting up the next common panel and has come up with a new guidelines for this purpose.

The latest guidelines are largely in line with the one issued in December 2021, say insolvency law experts. 

They are aimed at bringing a time-efficient approach to the process of appointment of an RP who plays a vital role in the resolution process under the IBC. The guidelines will help accelerate the selection process as the NCLT can pick any name from the panel and each such insolvency professional (IP) would be deemed to have been recommended by the Board.

Faster appointment

The panel will have a zone-wise list of IPs based an the registered office (address as registered with the Board) of the IP. This would mean the NCLT or a debt recovery tribunal (DRT) as the Adjudicating Authority (AA) would be able to appoint a resolution professional without having to make reference to the IBBI and wait for its recommendation.

The earlier process of the AA making a reference to the IBBI, the Board making a recommendation to the AA, and then the appointment of the IP was time-consuming and lasted two to three weeks.

Expert’s take

Sushmita Gandhi, Partner, IndusLaw, said that the new guidelines reinforce the time efficient approach introduced in December 2021 for providing a panel of qualified insolvency professionals for the tribunals to make the appointment. 

As per the earlier guidelines, the panel was to be valid for a period of six months until which period an IP was to have the authorisation for assignment. It appears the earlier guidelines have been replaced in view of the new panels constituted. “These guidelines are directed towards saving considerable amount of time and ensuring efficacious  insolvency/ bankruptcy proceedings,” Gandhi added.

Meanwhile, insolvency law experts felt that it would be a good idea for IBBI to create panels with grades like what they do for audit firms, forensic empanelment with the Indian Banks Association, the CAG empanelment — now that there is a good five year experience of the insolvency and bankruptcy code. 

“This would ensure right person for the right job,” sources said.