NCLT allows police protection for resolution professional

The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), Chennai, has allowed police protection to be provided to Subrata Monindranath Maity, a resolution professional (RP) in-charge of Bhatia Coke and Energy Ltd., after he alleged that he, along with his team and family members, were being threatened by erstwhile directors of the company.

In 2019, NCLT had directed initiation of insolvency proceedings against Bhatia Coke for non-payment of dues of about ₹125.9 crore to a consortium of banks, in a case filed by the SBI.

In his petition, Mr. Maity noted that the erstwhile directors had made allegations against him under provisions of the IPC and criminal prosecution had been initiated against him. An FIR had been filed in Madhya Pradesh, and another in Tamil Nadu. The police had commenced investigations.

The NCLT said it was not going into the merits of the FIRs, but said since it was related to insolvency proceedings, it was imperative to protect the RP, his team and family members. For the lawful discharge of duty of a resolution professional, accelerating criminal charges and using the police to register complaints of criminal nature was not appropriate, when the erstwhile directors could have filed necessary applications with the tribunal, and registered a complaint with the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India, it said.

If every RP is bombarded with criminal prosecution and police investigation, then no one will be able to conduct the corporate insolvency resolution process (CIRP) without fear and favour, the NCLT noted, permitting the RP to take necessary action for protection and steps to quash the FIRs.

The police shall not take any action, like arrest, until the proceedings are disposed of by the tribunal, it noted.

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Printable version | Mar 6, 2021 11:53:35 AM |

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