NCLT adjourns insolvency case against Reliance Naval by IFCI to Jan 11

The Ahmedabad bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) on Tuesday adjourned an insolvency case against Anil Ambani-led Reliance Naval and Engineering Ltd to January 11, 2018.

Reliance Marine & Offshore Ltd, a subsidiary of Reliance Naval and Engineering Ltd and its guarantor, failed to serve a Rs 60 crore loan extended by IFCI, following which the lender approached the NCLT against both in mid-November.

The two-judge bench of NCLT adjourned the matter till January 11, 2018, after the Reliance Naval and Engineering Ltd counsel sought time for considering an appeal to the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) in the interim.

IFCI had filed separate petitions in mid-November in NCLT under section 7 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) 2016 against defaulter Reliance Marine and Offshore Ltd and its guarantor Reliance Naval and Engineering Ltd. According to sources, IFCI seeks to in all recover dues worth over Rs 150 crore.

In an official statement, Reliance Naval stated, "As legally advised, there are no merits in the application filed by IFCI before NCLT, Ahmedabad, as its an unsecured creditor. The action of IFCI is unwarranted and premature. The 25 secured lenders of the Company have also requested IFCI to solve the matter outside NCLT. The company will take all necessary steps to safeguard the interest of all the stakeholders."

Reliance Naval and Engineering also filed an interim application with the NCLT seeking the ongoing hearing to be put in abeyance. Under the application, the company cited an ongoing case in the Gujarat High Court where a defaulter company Shivam Water Treaters has challenged the constitutional validity of section 7 of the IBC 2016 which pertains to insolvency and winding up process under the new law.

However, the NCLT's Ahmedabad bench dismissed the application while stating that the case did not apply to Reliance Naval and Engineering Ltd.

On November 27, the NCLT had asked Reliance Naval to file objections to the insolvency plea which came up for hearing on December 8.

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