SBI has approached Supreme Court challenging the interim order passed by the Delhi HC putting a stay on the insolvency proceedings against Anil Ambani, for being the personal guarantor in the loans given to RCom and Reliance Infratel.
On 27th August, Delhi HC’s division bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar passed an interim order staying the Insolvency proceedings against Anil Ambani. The court ordered the insolvency proceedings of the corporate debtor to stay unaffected and has put a restrain order on Anil Ambani from alienating his assets. This order of Delhi HC is challenged by SBI in SC stating that they were not even given a chance to file a counter-affidavit.
SBI has further challenged the jurisdiction of Delhi HC in the present matter as the demand notices were issued by the bank in Mumbai, insolvency proceedings are going on in NCLT Mumbai and the guarantor (Anil Ambani) & the financial creditor’s headquarter (SBI) are also in Mumbai. SBI submits in its petition that great prejudice and irreparable damage would be caused to the petitioner if the impugned order of the high court is brought into effect. Anil Ambani had challenged the validity of the section pertaining to Personal Guarantee in Delhi HC and asked if there is any enabling provision in the Insolvency Bankruptcy Code (IBC) for such an order. This challenge was filed in response to the NCLT Mumbai order of appointing IRP Jitender Kothari in the insolvency proceedings against Anil Ambani. He was appointed to assess the liabilities and assets of the personal guarantor to take a call on the petition filed by SBI claiming the dues worth Rs. 1,200 Crores.
SBI has initiated the CIRP against the RCom and Reliance Infratel for the default committed by them and also invoked the personal guarantee given by Anil Ambani. The loan was provided in the year 2016 by the bank. Presently, the resolution plan for the corporate debtors has already been approved by the SBI board.
This case is likely to be watched closely by the legal professionals as it challenges the validity of the provisions of Personal Guarantee in IBC. In August last year, lenders submitted claims of around Rs 49,000 crore. In March this year, the SBI board approved a resolution plan for RCom that envisaged lenders recovering around Rs 23,000 crore, or less than half of their outstanding loans. RCom owes nearly Rs 5,000 crore to SBI.
-Samyak Jain (LC Content Writer)
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