NCLT adjourns insolvency case against Deccan Chronicle Holdings to July 19

Hyderabad-bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) on Thursday heard the arguments in a petition seeking the initiation of insolvency proceedings against Deccan Chronicle Holdings (DCHL).

The bench has adjourned the matter, pending the issuance of orders to July 19. Last week, the NCLT had admitted the petition of Canara Bank, one of the financial creditors of the debt-laden company, filed under section 7 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), 2016.

The bank is seeking orders for appointment of an Interim Resolution Professional (IRP) and an imposition of a moratorium, required to initiate the insolvency process.

The bench had admitted the petition while rejecting the corporate debtor's plea for dismissal of the petition on the grounds that the petitioner had established a prima facie case in seeking action under IBC,2016 pertains to an outstanding debt of Rs 723.75 crore claimed by the creditor.

The bench did not agree with the argument of the respondent's counsel that it can not entertain this petition as there was a winding up case pending against the company in Hyderabad high court.

The bench maintained that there was a non-obstante clause in the IBC 2016, which has an over-riding effect over an existing statute or statutes in force.

Speaking to Business Standard, Canara Bank's counsel Deepak Bhattacharjee said the NCLT bench has heard the arguments from both the sides and adjourned the matter for the issuance of orders.

According to Bhattacharjee, following the admission of the insolvency petition, the previous applications such as the one filed by Srei Infra Finance seeking the appointment of new directors on the board of DCHL will become infructuous.

The media company, which owns Deccan Chronicle newspaper, had admitted that it had total debt of around Rs 4,000 crore way back in 2012. Lenders had approached various fora to recover loans from the company, though very few had succeeded as the company had allegedly mortgaged the same set of properties multiple times.

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