Supreme Court restores NCLT order in Ricoh India case

Reinstates brand identity as Minosha India Ltd

Supreme Court restores NCLT order in Ricoh India case
Ricoh pro C5300

The supreme court of India on 10th March upheld the decision of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) and threw out the conclusion of the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) that questioned the work of the resolution professional in awarding Ricoh India to the Kalpraj Dharamshi-Rekha Jhunjhunwala group. 

Upholding the ‘commercial wisdom’ displayed by the Committee of Creditors (CoC) in the Kalpraj Dharamshi versus Kotak Investment Advisories Ltd (KIAL) case, the Supreme Court in its 150-page judgment noted that the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) acted in excess of its jurisdiction. The apex court observed that both the NCLAT and the NCLT could not overstep the CoC’s decision. The matter doesn’t fall within the limited scope of sections 30 and 31 of the Insolvency Bankruptcy Code (IBC), thereby dismissing the NCLAT order that favored KIAL. 

Earlier, Minosha India Limited (formerly Ricoh India Limited) had appealed against the NCLAT judgment while supporting the resolution professional’s conduct (RP) in bringing about a quick insolvency process approved by the majority of CoC. NCLT approved the resolution plan submitted by a consortium led by Kalpraj Dharamshi and Rekha Jhunjhunwala in November 2019, and the implementation had commenced. While the case was being heard and the order was reserved at NCLAT, there was no restraint on implementing the resolution plan by Dharamshi and Jhunjhunwala. 

The CoC’s decision was accepted by a majority of 84.36%, while Kotak Bank favored dissenting KIAL with only 0.97% voting rights. Subsequently, in 2020, the Registrar of Companies issued a certificate of the change in name from Ricoh India Ltd. to Minosha India Ltd. 

Elated by the judgment, Atul Thakker, managing director of Minosha India, said, “Truth has prevailed. Our respect and faith in the judicial process has been vindicated. The decision upholds the primary [primacy] of the commercial wisdom of the CoC. With this judgment, all doubts about our ownership and continuity have been put to rest.”

Minosha India, in its press release on the judgment, says after the Supreme Court’s decision, the company “will set in motion a course of action to vigorously implement its growth plan.”

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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