Piramal's bid for DHFL: Prudential International Insurance plea rejected; called premature by NCLAT
Piramal's bid for DHFL: Prudential International Insurance plea rejected; called premature by NCLAT

The appellate insolvency tribunal NCLAT on Monday declined a plea by US-based Prudential International Insurance Holdings Ltd challenging an NCLT order approving the bid of Piramal group for the debt-ridden Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Ltd (DHFL).

NCLAT termed the plea of Prudential International Insurance Holdings Ltd (PIIHL) as "premature" as it has approached the appellate tribunal without getting a decision on its petition filed before the Mumbai-bench of NCLT, which is scheduled to hear the matter on Wednesday (June 30).

Earlier on June 7, the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) had approved the resolution plan of Piramal Capital & Housing Finance Ltd for DHFL.

"Without rights claimed by appellant (PIIHL) being adjudicated before Adjudicating Authority (NCLT), appellant cannot maintain the challenge to approval of Resolution Plan by way of appeal," said a two-member NCLAT bench comprising Officiating Chairperson Justice A I S Cheema and Member Alok Srivastava.

The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) also said PIIHL, which was a 49 per cent shareholder in the joint venture firm Pramerica Life Insurance, has liberty to raise issues before it after a decision is taken by NCLT.

"Suffice it to state that the appellant - third party is trying to maintain this appeal challenging the Resolution Plan approved, without getting decided one way or other. We decline to entertain the appeal," said NCLAT.

PIIHL has claimed it has certain pre-existing and continuing contractual arrangements with DHFL, in which the debt-ridden firm was shareholder till March 31, 2017.

According to it, DHFL continues to be bound by the obligations under the Shareholders' Agreement of July 2013.

In the resolution plan approved by NCLT, the Piramal group firm has sought certain reliefs and waivers which impacts the rights of PIIHL, it added.

During the proceedings, the counsel appearing for lenders submitted that the resolution plan approved by NCLT is not conditional and could not be interfered with at the instance of a third party like PIIHL.

It had filed a claim of Rs 4,100 crore on the count of losses which was rejected by the Resolution Professional of DHFL, he informed the court.

The counsel for Piramal Capital & Housing Finance said the appellant delayed filing of the application before the NCLT to prolong the matter, adding that once the resolution plan is approved, such applications would have been deemed to be rejected.

However, NCLAT said it is not going into the issues with regard to the rights claimed by PIIHL and whether or not it has the right to question the Resolution Plan.

"We are not elaborating or commenting on the same for the reason that...(its plea) is admittedly stated to be coming up before the Adjudicating Authority on June 30, 2021," said NCLAT.

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