Representational Pic
Representational Pic

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday sought response from the NBCC on whether it is willing to give a revised proposal to complete the stalled projects of Jaypee group.

A bench of justices A M Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari issued notice to the National Buildings Construction Corporation Limited (NBCC) and sought its reply by Thursday.

Additional Solicitor General Madhavi Divan, appearing for the Centre, said the government has held three meetings with various stakeholders and a decision has been taken that it was willing to give tax concession running into hundreds of crores to Jaypee group and enhanced compensation to farmers only if the NBCC is allowed to complete the stalled projects.

Senior advocate F S Nariman and Anupam Lal Das, appearing for the Jaypee group, said they have no objection if the NBCC is allowed to give a revised proposal but the group should also be allowed to give a proposal as it is wiling to pay all dues to lenders and finish all stalled projects within three years.

Nariman said this option should also be considered as and when the court will look into NBCC's proposals. The bench said it will first look what NBCC has to offer and only then it may look into Jaypee group's fresh proposal. The bench posted the matter for further hearing on Thursday and extended the status quo order till then.

On August 22, the Supreme Court had ordered status quo for a week on the insolvency proceeding after Jaypee Group challenged the July 30 order of the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT), which allowed the fresh bidding for the cash-strapped Jaypee Infratech.

On July 30, the NCLAT had allowed fresh bidding for the cash-strapped Jaypee Infratech but barred its promoter Jaypee Group from participating in the auction.

To enable the fresh bidding process, the NCLAT extended the resolution period of Jaypee Infratech for another 90 days, which includes a 45-day window for the resolution professional (RP) and lenders of the debt-ridden firm to invite fresh bids.

The NCLAT direction came in view of lenders rejecting the resolution plan of state-owned NBCC and Suraksha Realty in the second round of bidding. Jaypee Infratech went into insolvency in August 2017 after the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) admitted an application filed by an IDBI Bank-led consortium.

In the first round of insolvency proceedings conducted last year, the Rs 7,350-crore bid of Lakshdeep, part of Suraksha Group, was rejected by lenders.

The NCLAT had asked state-owned NBCC, whose bid was rejected by the CoC of Jaypee Infratech, to submit fresh resolution plan for the debt-ridden company.

The appellate tribunal has also rejected the plea of Jaiprakash Associates Ltd, the promoters of Jaypee Infratech, to be eligible to submit a bid. On June 18, the Centre had informed the apex court that fresh amendments to the IBC give appropriate weightage to homebuyers to protect their interest.

The top court had earlier said it may use its plenary power under Article 142 of the Constitution to protect the interest of over 21,000 homebuyers in the JIL case, if their grievances are not addressed.

The court is hearing a plea which has sought that JIL be not sent into liquidation, although the deadline for the corporate insolvency resolution process is over, as it would cause "irreparable loss" to thousands of homebuyers.

On August 9 last year, the apex court ordered re-commencement of the resolution process against JIL and barred the firm, its holding company and promoters from participating in fresh bidding process.

It allowed the Reserve Bank of India to direct banks to initiate corporate insolvency resolution proceedings (CIRP) against Jaiprakash Associates Ltd (JAL), the holding company of JIL, under the IBC.

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