SC dismisses Dalmia Bharat appeal on NCLAT's UltraTech order
19 November 2018
The Supreme Court today dismissed a petition filed by Dalmia Bharat’s Rajputana Properties challenging an order of the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) on Ultratech Cement’s resolution plan for Binani Cement.
The bench of Justices Rohinton Nariman and Navin Sinha dismissed the plea challenging the verdict, saying there was no infirmity in approval granted by the NCLAT.
Senior advocates Gopal Subramanium and Neeraj Kishan Kaul (briefed by Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas) appeared for Dalmia Bharat while senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi and advocate Mahesh Agarwal appeared for Ultratech.
Advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan, appearing for Dalmia Bharat’s Rajputana Properties, argued that Ultratech could not revise the offer. But, after hearing Ultratech, the apex court decided to dismiss the appeal.
Ultratech argued that declaration of Rajputana Properties as highest bidder was flawed and was under challenge. Ultratech had revised the offer before the final meeting of 14 March, which was well within the time, it argued.
A two-member bench of the NCLAT headed by chairperson Justice SJ Mukhopadhaya on 14 November rejected the resolution plan submitted by Dalmia Bharat’s Rajputana Properties, calling it “discriminatory” and “unbalanced”.
The NCLAT bench observed that the plan submitted by Rajputana discriminated between “equally situated” financial creditors and did not balance other stakeholders such as the operational creditors of Binani Cement. Therefore, its resolution plan was rightly rejected, it said.
The Bench ordered that the approval of Ultratech’s resolution plan by the Adjudicating Authority cannot be held to be illegal.
The NCLAT also remitted the records of the proceedings back to the NCLT Kolkata Bench for establishing a monitoring committee for the process.