The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered the transfer, to itself, of all petitions pending before various High Courts against the provisions of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) with regard to personal insolvency.
A bench comprising Justices L. Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta and Ajay Rastogi passed the order on the petition of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India under Article 139 (A) read with Article 142 of the Constitution, seeking transfer of the writ petitions filed before High Courts to the apex court.
“The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code is at a nascent stage and it is better that the interpretation of the provisions of the Code is taken up by this court to avoid any confusion, and to authoritatively settle the law,” the bench said.
By a notification dated November 15, 2019, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, in exercise of its power conferred under Section 1(3) of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 brought into force the provisions of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 insofar as they related to ‘personal guarantors to corporate debtors’ with effect from December 1, 2019.
Writ petitions were filed in the Delhi High Court and other High Courts challenging this notification and the Insolvency and Bankruptcy (Application to Adjudicating Authority for Insolvency Resolution Process of Personal Guarantors to Corporate Debtors) Rules, 2019.
“The writ petitioners also sought a declaration that Section 95, 96, 99, 100, 101 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 are unconstitutional insofar as they apply to personal guarantors of corporate debtors,” observed the top court.
Additional Solicitor General Madhavi Divan, appearing for the IBBI, submitted that in view of the importance of the matter, it is imminent that all the writ petitions should be transferred to the top court for an early resolution of the dispute.
“The Additional Solicitor General submitted that different opinions by the High Courts before which the Writ Petitions are pending would lead to confusion,” the top court said.
The IBBI insisted that the best course would be to transfer the cases to the top court where the dispute can be finally resolved.
The top court said: “After hearing the submissions made by the parties, we are of the considered opinion that the writ petitions that are pending in the High Courts pertaining to the challenge to the Notification dated November 15, 2019 and related issues have to be transferred to this Court.”
Sensex down over 100 points after opening in green
The Indian equity indices traded on a negative note on Thursday morning after opening in the green.
Banking, auto, oil and gas stocks witnessed selling pressure so far.
Around 10 a.m., Sensex was trading at 43,698.64, lower by 129.46 points or 0.30 per cent from its previous close of 43,828.10.
It opened at 43,967.59 and has so far touched an intra-day high of 44,023.26 and a low of 43,655.60 points.
The Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange was trading at 12,822.25, lower by 36.15 points or 0.28 per cent from its previous close.
Manish Hathiramani, technical analyst with Deen Dayal Investments said: “After a long time traders were struck by nervousness yesterday when the Nifty broke down over 200 points from the high. The support of 12,800 has still not been violated and hence traders can continue holding their positions with a trailing stop loss.”
“If we break 12,800, we could drop further to 12,500. If we resume the existing uptrend from the current level, we can head to 13,200,” he said.
VW to face action for cheat devices, Supreme Court junks plea on quashing FIR
The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a special leave petition (SLP) filed by German car manufacturer Skoda-Volkswagen (VW) seeking to quash an FIR registered over alleged installation of cheat emissions devices in its vehicles.
A bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde dismissed the SLP filed by the German car manufacturer.
Skoda-Volkswagen will have to face prosecution in case registered in Uttar Pradesh under charges of allegedly cheating and conspiracy, after the top court junked its petition to quash an FIR in Noida.
The FIR, has named the car manufacturer’s top officials, for over installing cheat devices to misrepresent emission levels.
On November 4, the Supreme Court had queried Skoda Volkswagen (VW) India Pvt Ltd, why shouldn’t the trial against it go on in an FIR registered in Uttar Pradesh over alleged cheat emission devices installed in its cars.
Senior advocate A.M. Singhvi, representing the German car-maker VW, submitted that in March, 2019, a penalty was imposed on VW by NGT (National Green Tribunal), which was stayed by the top court. Chief Justice S.A. Bobde replied: “I know, I was party to that order. But what that has to do with the criminal prosecution?”
Singhvi replied that vehicle was bought in 2018, and for nearly two and a half years there were no complaints. “While the NGT matter was pending, this FIR was lodged where the allegations are same as the application before the NGT,” argued Singhvi.
The Chief Justice replied, “But, why should the trial not go on? NGT will not determine the correctness of your action.”
Singhvi cited there are two allegations, installation of cheat device and environmental damage caused and citing stay on NGT order queried, “How can a new complaint start?”
The bench also comprising Justices A.S. Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian noted that a criminal complaint is filed as the citizen says I have been cheated and the NGT is a general order on cheat devices. “I( a citizen says) was told that there is no device in the car but it was there”, observed Chief Justice.
The Chief Justice told Singhvi that prima facie the court does not agree with him. Singhvi insisted is criminal prosecution fair at this stage? They have also accused officers outside India, he added.
After a detailed hearing in the matter, the top court had reserved its verdict on quashing of FIR against VW for installing cheat devices in their cars.
IKEA to begin work on biggest outlet in Noida
Swedish flat-pack furniture giant IKEA will soon begin work at its Noida outlet, touted to be its biggest store in India.
The company had signed an MoU with the Uttar Pradesh government in December 2018 for Rs 5,000-crore investment in Noida and other cities in the state. It has committed to completing the project by 2025.
State Industries Minister Satish Mahana said 47,833 square metre land had been allotted to the company, but work did not take off due to pending payments.
“All issues have been cleared and the company has committed to finishing the project by 2025. I have issued directions to ensure the company gets quick possession of land,” he said on Thursday.
IKEA, which opened its first outlet in India in Hyderabad in 2018, has proposed to set up an integrated commercial project in Noida giving direct employment to 1,000 and indirect jobs to another 1,000.
The company intends to expand to 40 cities by 2030.
Officials said, IKEA initially signed an MoU with the previous government in 2015 to set up three stores in Lucknow, Agra and Noida with an investment of Rs 500-crore in each city.
However, its plans evolved over the years and a fresh MoU was signed in 2018.
Sources said, a typical IKEA store has an average size of 4,00,000 square feet. Since it is difficult to find such a large space within a city, the company is looking to change its model and develop smaller stores, either standalone or even within malls.
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