NCLT Mumbai Bench Directs Investigation Against Directors of Adya Oils and Chemicals Ltd.
A Landmark Decision by NCLT Mumbai Bench
The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) Mumbai Bench has made a significant ruling in the case of Adya Oils and Chemicals Ltd. The bench, comprising of Ms. Reeta Kohli (Judicial Member) and Shri Sanjiv Dutt (Technical Member), has directed the case to be forwarded to the Central Government for investigation.
The NCLT Mumbai Bench referred to a specific section of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) and allowed the present Insolvency Application (IA). The case is directed to be forwarded to the Central Government to examine and investigate for initiating the appropriate steps against the Respondents in respect of the mentioned section of the Code.
Implications of the Order
A copy of the order has been forwarded to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) for requisite information and necessary action. This decision sets a precedent for future cases where erstwhile directors may be held accountable under the mentioned section of the IBC.
The Relevant Section of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), 2016
The relevant section of the IBC deals with the punishment for false representations to creditors. It states:
“Where any officer of the corporate debtor— (a) on or after the insolvency commencement date, makes a false representation or commits any fraud for the purpose of obtaining the consent of the creditors of the corporate debtor or any of them to an agreement with reference to the affairs of the corporate debtor, during the corporate insolvency resolution process, or the liquidation process; (b) prior to the insolvency commencement date, has made any false representation, or committed any fraud, for that purpose, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than three years, but may extend to five years or with fine which shall not be less than one lakh rupees, but may extend to one crore rupees, or with both.”
This provision is significant as it holds officers of the corporate debtor accountable for any false representations or fraud committed either before or after the insolvency commencement date.
Conclusion: NCLT Mumbai Bench’s Accountability Ruling
This landmark decision by the NCLT Mumbai Bench underscores the accountability of directors in insolvency proceedings. It paves the way for stricter enforcement of the IBC, ensuring that directors of companies cannot evade their responsibilities. The full implications of this ruling will unfold as the Central Government undertakes its investigation.