July 10, 2019

Gitanjali Gems Resolution Professional Moves NCLT Seeking Direction To Probe Agencies To Share Info To Expedite Process

[ By Bobby Anthony ]


Gitanjali Gems’s resolution professional has moved the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) seeking a direction from investigating agencies probing the scam tainted, Mehul Choksi associated company, to share information with him so that the resolution process can be speeded up.

The resolution professional’s lawyer told the NCLT that all assets of Gitanjali Gems have been seized and attached by the Enforcement Directorate and the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO). These agencies and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) have all financial and other details of the company, which they have refused to share with the resolution despite repeated requests, the NCLT was informed.

An NCLT bench stated that it would need to hear what the investigation agencies have to say and directed the agencies to be present on August 9 hearing of the case would resume.

The resolution professional also sought the NCLT's nod to reject the claims of two operational creditors, namely 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.

However, the NCLT stated that it would seek to consider these claims on their merit.

Gitanjali had informed stock exchanges that it owes around Rs 12,558 crore to the lenders. These dues include working capital loans and external commercial borrowings.

Among lenders, PNB with an exposure of over Rs 5,518 crore, has 43.94% of voting rights, followed by ICICI Bank which has 7.9% voting shares, with an exposure of Rs 890 crore.

In October 2018, the Mumbai bench of NCLT had admitted the insolvency plea filed by ICICI Bank which had approached the tribunal after Gitanjali defaulted on dues of around Rs 890 crore.

Incidentally, ICICI Bank’s was the first insolvency petition filed by the lender after government investigation 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.

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