Liquidator of bankrupt Odisha firm seeks contempt action against NCLT members

liquidator of bankrupt odisha firm seeks contempt action against nclt members

NCLT president Justice Ramalingam Sudhakar could not be contacted for comment.

The erstwhile liquidator of Odisha-based Jeypore Sugar Company has moved the National Company Appellate Law Tribunal (NCLAT) seeking contempt proceedings against the NCLT Chennai bench’s judicial member Justice S Ramathilagam and former technical member B Anil Kumar for “wilfully disobeying the orders of the superior courts”, thereby indulging in serious judicial misconduct and total abuse of the process of law for “unjustly enriching” the latter.

The liquidator, V Venkata Sivakumar, said benefits worth over Rs 1,000 crore were illegally given to “favourable parties”.

Sivakumar, who was removed and replaced by Hari Karthik as liquidator, has alleged that Anil Kumar, with a “mala fide intention and in collusion with IDBI Bank”, had given the control of the debt-laden company to its ousted “ineligible” promoters on the last day of his retirement. This was in violation of the appellate tribunal’s and the Madras High Court’s orders, he said.

Denying allegations made against him, Anil Kumar said Sivakumar “is accustomed to make such allegations whenever he fails to get any favourable order. Earlier also, he had filed such pleas against another NCLT member and also against the ICAI of which he is a member himself”. He added, “He is involved in various irregularities/ malpractices and that is why the order was passed to remove him. And the matter is already before the NCLAT.”

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NCLT president Justice Ramalingam Sudhakar could not be contacted for comment.

Sivakumar alleged that Anil Kumar continued to hear the matter even after putting in his papers, after an extension of the two-year term for technical members was rejected by the ministry of corporate affairs.

“… shockingly on July 1, at 3 pm, just before his retirement he (Anil Kumar) and the judicial member brought in 24 petitions not included in the primary cause list and pronounced” orders, the plea said.

Seeking initiation of inquiry proceedings against these members or permission to initiate criminal proceedings against them, Sivakumar also sought reopening and quashing of all the favourable orders passed in these 24 cases by the bench presided by Ramathilagam and Anil Kumar just before the latter’s retirement.

Sivakumar also alleged that Karthik was appointed as liquidator on the behest of the promoters as he was assisting Rajasekhar, the DGM Finance of the corporate debtor, and would accompany the latter during the CIRP and liquidation process. Rajasekhar’s father, too, was employed in the company for 30 years.

Claiming that his efforts for the last four years had resulted in getting almost 100% of the claims settled, Sivakumar said the promoters, who were reluctant to take over the company at `125 crore, had offered Rs 600 crore to the lenders to settle the debt. However, IDBI Bank and the promoters, with Anil Kumar’s help, had Sivakumar removed without paying his expenses and remuneration, he contended.

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