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NCLT summons IBBI official, sees contempt of court

Mumbai: The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has summone..

Mumbai: The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has summoned a senior official of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board to explain an alleged delay in naming a resolution professional in a case before it, and show why it should not launch contempt-of-court proceedings against him.

Judges Jinan KR and VP Singh of NCLT’s Kolkata bench ordered Sreekara Rao, a deputy general manager at the board, to be present before the dedicated bankruptcy court on December 12 in the case involving Shreeshyam Metaliks and Concast Steel & Power.

“It appears that the concerned officials intentionally handled this matter very casually and carelessly,” the bench said.

Rao didn’t respond until press time Thursday to an email from ET seeking comment.

The case was admitted for insolvency proceedings on November 7, with the operational creditor, Shreeshyam, proposing no name for an interim resolution professional (IRP). The tribunal said it sent repeated mails, as well as made phone calls, to the board asking it to propose a name for the resolution professional who would manage the day-to-day operations during the bankruptcy proceedings.

An IRP is supposed to be recruited within 10 days after a case is admitted by the NCLT.

The board finally proposed Sanjay Kumar Agarwal as it choice in the Shreeshyam-Concast case, but that came a few hours after the court announced a name on its own.

The judges still appointed Agarwal as the IRP as its order was yet to be typed out.

“In spite of our every possible effort for getting the name of IRP from the IBBI (Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India), the IBBI did not respond responsibly. A senior officer of the rank of DGM … has tried to defy the authority of court and treated himself as a controlling authority of the NCLT,” the judges said in the order.

Rao had written to the court that when the board was asked to name an IRP, it didn’t have information about the volume, nature and complexity of the transactions in the case. The letter said since the adjudicating authority had more information, it “perhaps makes sense” for it to name an IRP, thereby saving 10 days of “precious time”.

“Writing of letter with sarcastic remarks against a court is not permissible at any cost, whosoever it may be,” the court said.

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