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LVB-DBS merger: Plea in Delhi HC on LVB share capital write-off

Surabhi Mumbai | Updated on January 17, 2021

A shareholder in Lakshmi Vilas Bank has filed a Writ Petition in the Delhi High Court challenging its amalgamation with DBS Bank India.

A clause in the scheme seeks to write off the entire share capital of the troubled lender

The petition, filed by one Sudhir Kathpalia, naming also the Union of India, Reserve Bank of India and DBS as respondents, contended that the merger would leave investors and the Centre and the RBI have failed to protect investors’ rights.

Accordingly, it has sought quashing of clause 7(i) in the merger scheme, which provides for the write off of LVB’s share capital states.

The petition which was listed for January 13 before a bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh has been adjourned to February 19 after the Bench was informed that the RBI has moved a plea in the Supreme Court for transfer of all pleas against the amalgamation scheme to the Bombay High Court.

Kathpalia, a lawyer, holds 20,000 shares of LVB.

The petition contended that the scheme of amalgamation was “irregular, arbitrary, irrational, unreasonable, illegal and thus, void”, and the respondent could have demanded protection for shareholders money by asking DBS Bank India to give the shares equivalent to the value of shares last traded on stock exchange post amalgamation.

“The Petitioner wants to categorically state that it is not against the scheme of amalgamation per se but the manner in which investors’ money is being written off.” The amalgamation of the banks was approved by the RBI on November 25, 2020 and the merger took place on November 27.

Published on January 17, 2021

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