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Resident Professionals Want to Implead Central Agencies to Get Info on Gitanjali Gems

Representative Image (Pic: REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade)

Representative Image (Pic: REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade)

The counsel representing the RP informed the tribunal that even though the company has gone to RP for everyday management, all the assets of Gitanjali Gems are seized and attached by the Enforcement Directorate and the SFIO, and thus they along with CBI have all the financial and other details of the company.

Mumbai: The resolution professional of Gitanjali Gems Tuesday moved the National Company Law Tribunal seeking a direction from the federal agencies investigating the scam tainted company to share information with him so that the resolution process moves faster.

The counsel representing the RP informed the tribunal that even though the company has gone to RP for everyday management, all the assets of Gitanjali Gems are seized and attached by the Enforcement Directorate and the SFIO, and thus they along with CBI have all the financial and other details of the company, but have so far refused share the same with the RP despite repeated requests.

"To make the resolution successful there is a need for the RP to have all the information, hence, we want to implead the SFIO, ED and the CBI in the case," the counsel said.

An NCLT bench of MK Shrawat observed that the tribunal is not in conflict with these federal agencies but underlined the need for everybody to work together so that all the stakeholders get optimum value from the resolution process.

The tribunal said before issuing an order, it needs to hear these agencies out and directed the agencies to be present on August 9 when it will resume hearing the case. The counsel also said the lenders have approved the appointment of Vijay Kumar Garg as the RP for the company.

Meanwhile, the RP also sought the tribunal's nod to reject the claims of two operational creditors--HT Media and Laxmi Diamonds with a claim of over Rs 4.72 crore and Rs 19.21 crore respectively, citing delayed submission of claims. To this, the tribunal said these claims could be considered on merit.

Gitanjali had informed the stock exchanges that it owes around Rs 12,558 crore to the lenders. The dues include working capital loans and external commercial borrowings. Currently, among the lenders, PNB with an exposure of over Rs 5,518 crore, has 43.94 percent of the voting rights, followed by ICICI Bank which has 7.9 percent voting shares with an exposure of Rs 890 crore.

On October 2018, the Mumbai bench of NCLT had admitted the insolvency plea filed by ICICI Bank. The private sector lender had approached the tribunal after the company had defaulted on dues of around Rs 890 crore.

This was the first insolvency petition filed by the lender since government agencies launched a probe into Gitanjali Gems Mehul Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi for allegedly defrauding Punjab National Bank of over USD 2 billion between 2010 and 2017.