NCLAT hauls up Vikram Bakshi, asks him to deposit security to go abroad

The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) came down heavily on the former McDonalds India promoter Vikram Bakshi and observed that he had committed a fraud by not following the Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) orders prohibiting sale of his shares in the company.

Bakshi, the former head of McDonalds India Private Limited, and his wife Madhurima Bakshi had on Wednesday moved an application seeking permission to go abroad. The court, while accepting their plea, said they must deposit Rs 5 crore each as security by Thursday before flying abroad.

“The fraud has already been played by you by selling shares in violation of DRT orders. You have already violated their (DRT’s) orders. You can violate our orders too…once you leave who will go and catch hold of you?” a two-judge Bench led by Chairperson Justice S J Mukhopadhaya observed.

The NCLAT had on September 18 barred him from leaving the country without informing it or the Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) first. The appellate tribunal had then also said that the deal between Bakshi’s Connaught Plaza Restaurants Limited (CPRL) and McDonalds India would not be given effect to until further orders. During that hearing, NCLAT had also said that prima facie, the agreement between Bakshi and McDonalds was in violation of the DRT's orders.

Earlier this year on May 7, Bakshi and McDonald's India had informed the NCLAT that the two parties were working on an out-of-court- settlement to settle their six-year-old dispute. According to the terms of the settlement, McDonald’s India has bought over the 50 per cent stake held by Bakshi and his wife in CPRL for an undisclosed amount.

However, before the deal could be given effect, Hudco sought to be heard by the NCLAT before the final approval for McDonalds India Private Limited-Vikram Bakshi out of court settlement was given the go ahead. Hudco had claimed that it was owed Rs 190 crore dues by a company owned by Vikram Bakshi, the managing director of CRPL and that those dues must be cleared from the money that Bakshi got from his deal with McDonalds India.

Bakshi had, in 1995, inked a deal with McDonald’s to open outlets in India. The partnership, a 50:50 joint venture between McDonald’s India and Bakshi’s Connaught Plaza Restaurant (CPRL), was inked in a way such that Bakshi’s CPRL would be responsible for opening and managing McDonald's outlets in north and east India.

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