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NCLAT Chennai’s Stand on Condonation of Delay in Filing Appeals: An Explanation, Not an Excuse

A Detailed Analysis of the NCLAT Chennai’s Interpretation of Section 61 of the IBC

NCLAT Chennai’s Stand on Condonation of Delay in Filing Appeals: An Explanation, Not an Excuse

Introduction: NCLAT on IBC Delay in Filing Appeals

The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT), Chennai, in a recent judgment, has provided clarity on the condonation of delay for filing appeals under Section 61 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC). The case was presided over by Mr. Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain (Judicial Member) and Ms. Shreesha Merla (Technical Member).

The Case: Mathew Mylakulath Jose vs. Kizhakkekara Kuriakose Jose & RP of ITMA Hotels India Pvt Ltd & Anr

The Hon’ble NCLAT held that:

(i) If the appeal is filed on the 46th day then the application cannot be entertained by the Tribunal.

(ii) In such a scenario, when the timeline is so strict, it is always incumbent upon the person who wanted to challenge the order of the Adjudicating Authority before the Appellate Authority to remain vigilant regarding his rights to file the appeal.

(iii) Sufficient cause should be an explanation and not an excuse, therefore, in our considered opinion, there is no merit in the present application and the same is hereby dismissed.

Implications: NCLAT Emphasizes Delay in Filing Appeals

The judgment underscores the importance of adhering to the timelines stipulated in the IBC for filing appeals. It emphasizes that the appellant must remain vigilant about their rights and the strict timelines. The Tribunal will not entertain applications filed beyond the prescribed timeline, and any request for condonation of delay should provide a valid explanation rather than an excuse.

Additional Insights from Other Cases

In another case, SVA Family Welfare Trust & Anr v. Ujaas Energy Limited & Ors1, the NCLAT held that a resolution plan can contain a clause which extinguishes security interest, such as personal guarantees, after paying compensation to the financial creditor in whose favour such security interest was created1.

In yet another case, the NCLAT considered the converse issue—can a resolution plan provide for the release of personal guarantees, when the personal guarantor has not been subject to the insolvency resolution process2. The NCLAT held that it was well within the commercial wisdom of the committee of creditors to approve a plan that provided for the release of personal guarantees2.

NCLAT Conclusion: Addressing Delay in Filing Appeals

The NCLAT Chennai’s judgment provides valuable insights into the interpretation of Section 61 of the IBC, particularly in relation to the condonation of delay in filing appeals. It emphasizes the need for appellants to remain vigilant about their rights and the strict timelines for filing appeals. The judgment also underscores the importance of providing a valid explanation, rather than an excuse, when seeking condonation of delay.

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