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.”