Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process
In India, the Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (“CIRP”) takes place under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (“IBC”). It involves a Resolution Professional inviting resolution plans for the corporate debtor undergoing insolvency. These plans are submitted by various Resolution Applicants and the best resolution plan is approved by the Committee of Creditors and sanctioned by the National Company Law Tribunal. Thus, from an acquisition perspective, the potential acquirer of the stressed asset is required to provide the best bid (in the form of the resolution plan) for the stressed asset which would be able to garner the approval of the Committee of Creditors.
CIRCUMSTANCES WHEN CORPORATE INSOLVENCY RESOLUTION PROCESS TRIGGERED.
Corporate social insolvency process has been defined under the Chapter II of IBC licensed professional administrators the resolution process, manages the assets of the debtor, and provides information for creditors to assist them in decision making. The CIRP Triggered under Section 6 of IBC that is Where any corporate debtor commits a default, a financial creditor, an operational creditor or the corporate debtor itself may initiate a corporate insolvency resolution process in respect of such corporate debtor in the manner as provided under preceding sections of chapter II of IBC like under section 7 Financial creditor can initiate the the resolution process by giving an application of corporate insolvency resolution process. (CIRP), same can be done by Operational creditor under section 8 & Section 9 and by Corporate applicant under section 10.
Section 7: Initiation of corporate insolvency resolution process by financial creditor.
(1) A financial creditor either by itself or jointly with other financial creditors, or any other person on behalf of the financial creditor, as may be notified by the Central Government may file an application for initiating corporate insolvency resolution process against a corporate debtor before the Adjudicating Authority when a default has occurred.
Provided that for the financial creditors, referred to in clauses (a) and (b) of sub-section (6A) of section 21, an application for initiating corporate insolvency resolution process against the corporate debtor shall be filed jointly by not less than one hundred of such creditors in the same class or not less than ten per cent. of the total number of such creditors in the same class, whichever is less:
Provided further that for financial creditors who are allottees under a real estate project, an application for initiating corporate insolvency resolution process against the corporate debtor shall be filed jointly by not less than one hundred of such allottees under the same real estate project or not less than ten per cent. of the total number of such allottees under the same real estate project, whichever is less:
Provided also that where an application for initiating the corporate insolvency resolution process against a corporate debtor has been filed by a financial creditor referred to in the first and second provisos and has not been admitted by the Adjudicating Authority before the commencement of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Act, 2020, such application shall be modified to comply with the requirements of the first or second proviso within thirty days of the commencement of the said Act, failing which the application shall be deemed to be withdrawn before its admission.
Explanation.—For the purposes of this sub-section, a default includes a default in respect of a financial debt owed not only to the applicant financial creditor but to any other financial creditor of the corporate debtor.
(2) The financial creditor shall make an application under sub-section (1) in such form and manner and accompanied with such fee as may be prescribed.
(3) The financial creditor shall, along with the application furnish—
(a) record of the default recorded with the information utility or such other record or evidence of default as may be specified.
(b) the name of the resolution professional proposed to act as an interim resolution professional and
(c) any other information as may be specified by the Board.
(4) The Adjudicating Authority shall, within fourteen days of the receipt of the application under sub-section (2), ascertain the existence of a default from the records of an information utility or on the basis of other evidence furnished by the financial creditor under sub-section (3).
Provided that if the Adjudicating Authority has not ascertained the existence of default and passed an order under sub-section (5) within such time, it shall record its reasons in writing for the same.
(5) Where the Adjudicating Authority is satisfied that—
(a) a default has occurred and the application under sub-section (2) is complete, and there is no disciplinary proceedings pending against the proposed resolution professional, it may, by order, admit such application; or
(b) default has not occurred or the application under sub-section (2) is incomplete or any disciplinary proceeding is pending against the proposed resolution professional, it may, by order, reject such application:
Provided that the Adjudicating Authority shall, before rejecting the application under clause (b) of sub-section (5), give a notice to the applicant to rectify the defect in his application within seven days of receipt of such notice from the Adjudicating Authority.
(6) The corporate insolvency resolution process shall commence from the date of admission of the application under sub-section (5).
(7) The Adjudicating Authority shall communicate—
(a) the order under clause (a) of sub-section (5) to the financial creditor and the corporate debtor;
(b) the order under clause (b) of sub-section (5) to the financial creditor,
within seven days of admission or rejection of such application, as the case may be.
Section 8: Insolvency resolution by operational creditor.
(1) An operational creditor may, on the occurrence of a default, deliver a demand notice of unpaid operational debtor copy of an invoice demanding payment of the amount involved in the default to the corporate debtor in such form and manner as may be prescribed.
(2) The corporate debtor shall, within a period of ten days of the receipt of the demand notice or copy of the invoice mentioned in sub-section (1) bring to the notice of the operational creditor—
(a) existence of a dispute, if any, or record of the pendency of the suit or arbitration proceedings filed before the receipt of such notice or invoice in relation to such dispute.
(b) the payment of unpaid operational debt—
(i) by sending an attested copy of the record of electronic transfer of the unpaid amount from the bank account of the corporate debtor or
(ii) by sending an attested copy of record that the operational creditor has encashed a cheque issued by the corporate debtor.
Explanation.—For the purposes of this section, a “demand notice” means a notice served by an operational creditor to the corporate debtor demanding payment of the operational debt in respect of which the default has occurred.
After the expiry of the period of ten days from the date of delivery of the notice or invoice demanding payment under sub-section (1) of section 8, if the operational creditor does not receive payment from the corporate debtor or notice of the dispute under sub-section (2) of section 8, the operational creditor may file an application before the Adjudicating Authority for initiating a corporate insolvency resolution process under Section 9.
Section 10-Initiation of corporate insolvency resolution process by corporate applicant.
(1) Where a corporate debtor has committed a default, a corporate applicant thereof may file an application for initiating corporate insolvency resolution process with the Adjudicating Authority.
(2) The application under sub-section (1) shall be filed in such form, containing such particulars and in such manner and accompanied with such fee as may be prescribed.
(3) The corporate applicant shall, along with the application, furnish-
(a) the information relating to its books of account and such other documents for such period as may be specified.
(b) the information relating to the resolution professional proposed to be appointed as an interim resolution professional and
(c) the special resolution passed by shareholders of the corporate debtor or the resolution passed by at least three-fourth of the total number of partners of the corporate debtor, as the case may be, approving filing of the application.
(4) The Adjudicating Authority shall, within a period of fourteen days of the receipt of the application, by an order—
(a) admit the application, if it is complete and no disciplinary proceeding is pending against the proposed resolution professional; or
(b) reject the application, if it is incomplete or any disciplinary proceeding is pending against the proposed resolution professional :
Provided that Adjudicating Authority shall, before rejecting an application, give a notice to the applicant to rectify the defects in his application within seven days from the date of receipt of such notice from the Adjudicating Authority.
(5) The corporate insolvency resolution process shall commence from the date of admission of the application under sub-section (4) of this section.
“10A. Notwithstanding anything contained in Sections 7, 9 and 10, no application for initiation of corporate insolvency resolution process of a corporate debtor shall be filed, for any default arising on or after 25th March, 2020 for a period of six months or such further period, not exceeding one year from such date as may be notified in this behalf.”
Provided that no application shall ever be filed for initiation of corporate insolvency resolution process of a corporate debtor for the said default occurring during the said period.
Explanation- For the removal of doubts, it is hereby clarified that the provisions of this section shall not apply to any default committed under the said sections before 25th March, 2020.
Further Committee of creditor is to be made under Section 21 of IBC The committee of creditors shall comprise all financial creditors of the corporate debtor party to whom a corporate debtor owes a financial debt shall not have any right of representation, participation or voting in a meeting of the committee of creditors Whereas the corporate debtor owes financial debts to two or more financial creditors as part of a consortium or agreement, each such financial creditor shall be part of the committee of creditors and their voting share shall be determined on the basis of the financial debts owed to them, The Board may specify the manner of determining the voting share in respect of financial debts issued as securities under sub-section (6) of Section 21. When a corporate debtor is accepted into the CIRP (Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process), it checks the board of directors. Further, the management is placed under an independent “interim resolution professional”. From this and till the end of the CIRP (Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process), the management ceases to have any control over the activities of the company.
- Moreover, a moratorium takes part which prohibits the following
- Continuing or beginning of any legal matters on the corporate debtor
- Transfer of its assets
- Execution of security interest
- Recovery of property as an owner
- Discontinuing or termination of the supply of basic goods and services, the moratorium lasts till the corporate debtor is in CIRP process.
VERIFICATION OF CLAIMS
After thus interim resolution professionals will summon, verify claims made by the corporate debtor’s creditors also, list them. After that, in 30 days of the acceptance into CIRP (Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process), from the COC (Committee of Creditors), comprising all the financial creditors of the corporate debtor.
APPOINTMENT OF RESOLUTION PROCESS.
The COC (Committee of Creditors) appoints an independent person to operate as the “resolution professional” for the remainder of the CIRP (Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process). The resolution professional will be the same person or the same person as the interim resolution professional depending upon COC.
TIME LIMIT OF CIRP
Time-limit for completion of insolvency resolution process as Per Section 12 shall be completed within a period of 180 days from the date of admission of application to initiate such process, further The resolution professional shall file an application to the Adjudicating Authority to extend the period of the corporate insolvency resolution process beyond one hundred and eighty days, if instructed to do so by a resolution passed at a meeting of the committee of creditors by a vote of seventy-five per cent. of the voting shares and if it deems fit further 90 days can be given but in any case not more than 90 days.
The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code has taken steps to improve the insolvency process in India and resolution of stressed assets, though in the nascent stages it faced a lot of criticism and controversies but now the government is increasing the number of NCLT benches across India.
According to Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India, chief M S SAHOO insolvency process is working better, it has helped creditors to recover Rs 1.6 lakh crore, which is 207 percent reliable value asset of under this code almost 190 companies rescued through resolution plan till December 2019, the number of companies that have benefitted from this law is large, there has been an improvement in speed as well as the success rate of the resolution process.
Author: Mohit Mathur