NCLT Approves Suraksha Group's Bid For Jaypee Infratech

That comes as a relief for more than 20,000 homebuyers nearly six years after the debt-ridden company entered into the insolvency process.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Jaypee Star Court. (Photo: Jaypee Infratech website0</p></div>
Jaypee Star Court. (Photo: Jaypee Infratech website0

The National Company Law Tribunal on Tuesday approved the Mumbai-based Suraksha group's bid to buy Jaypee Infratech Ltd., a development that comes as a relief for more than 20,000 homebuyers nearly six years after the debt-ridden company entered into the insolvency process.

The ruling, which also comes nearly two years after the Committee of Creditors gave its nod for Suraksha group's offer, will pave the way for the completion of more than 20,000 housing units in various stalled projects of Jaypee Infratech spread across Noida and Greater Noida in the national capital region.

A two-member Principal bench of the NCLT headed by President Ramalingam Sudhakar on Tuesday approved the resolution plan, more than three months after concluding the hearing and reserving the order.

"We have no other option but to approve the resolution plan submitted by Suraksha Realty Ltd. along with Lakshdeep Investments and Finance Pvt. Ltd. along with addendums as duly considered, approved, and recommended by the CoC and placed by the Applicant/IRP of JIL before this Adjudicating Authority," the NCLT said.

While passing the order, the tribunal rejected the objections made by Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority, dissenting financial creditor ICICI Bank and JIL's parent firm Jaiprakash Associates Ltd.

In its 491-page order, the NCLT also directed that JIL will get Rs 542.62 crore out of Rs 750 crore deposited by Jaiprakash Associates Ltd. in the registry of the Supreme Court while Rs 106.9 crore will go to an escrow account of homebuyers. JAL will get only Rs 100.48 crore.

As per the order of the Supreme Court, JAL had in 2018 deposited a total of Rs 750 crore in several tranches before the registry of the apex court.

"We direct the Registrar NCLT through Registry of NCLT, Allahabad, that out of the total amount of Rs 750 crores and accrued interest thereon, an amount of Rs 649.52 crore along with proportionate interest shall be paid to the JIL/Homebuyers of JIL and the remaining amount of Rs 100.48 crores along with proportionate interest shall be returned to JAL...," the tribunal said.

A monitoring committee will be set up by Interim Resolution Professional in seven days, and it will take all necessary steps for expeditious implementation of the resolution plan, the bench noted.

Suraksha Group should deliver the units for possession by the homebuyers concerned as per the time frame promised in the resolution plan, it said.

"The monitoring committee would supervise and monitor the progress of the construction of units, related infrastructure development on a day-to-day basis and file report before this Adjudicating Authority on a monthly basis," it added.

On Nov. 22 last year, the NCLT reserved its order over the plea filed by the IRP of JIL seeking approval for the Suraksha group's bid. In June 2021, the Suraksha group received the approval of the CoC, which includes banks and homebuyers.

JIL was among the first list of 12 companies against whom the RBI had directed the banks to approach the NCLT for initiation of insolvency proceedings.

The corporate Insolvency Resolution Process against JIL was started in August 2017 over an application by an IDBI Bank-led consortium.

Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code mandates a CIRP to be completed within a time frame of 180 days from the date of admission of the application. Subject to certain conditions, CIRP can be extended and completed within 330 days, including any extension and the time taken in legal proceedings.

However, JIL was an exceptional case that faced several rounds of litigation.

In the fourth round of the bidding process to find a buyer for JIL in 2021, the Suraksha group won the bid with 98.66% votes. As many as 12 banks and more than 20,000 homebuyers have voting rights in the CoC. The company had got 0.12% more votes than state-owned NBCC, which was also in the fray.

In its final resolution plan, the Suraksha group offered to bankers more than 2,500 acres of land and nearly Rs 1,300 crore by way of issuing non-convertible debentures. It also proposed to complete all pending flats over the next four years.

JIL's lenders have submitted a claim of Rs 9,783 crore.

In the first round of insolvency proceedings in 2018, the Rs 7,350 crore bid of Lakshadweep, part of the Suraksha group, was rejected by the lenders.

The CoC had rejected the bids of Suraksha and NBCC in the second round held in May-June 2019.

In November 2019, the Supreme Court directed that the revised bids be invited only from NBCC and Suraksha.

Then, in December 2019, the CoC approved the resolution plan of NBCC during the third round of the bidding process.

In March 2020, NBCC got approval from the NCLT to acquire JIL. However, the order was challenged before the NCLAT and later in the Supreme Court.

On March 21, 2021, the apex court ordered a fresh round of bidding between NBCC and Suraksha group only.

While passing the order on Tuesday, the NCLT rejected the plea of YEIDA, claiming to be a financial creditor of JIL.

The NCLT rejected its application on the ground that its claims have been ignored.

YEIDA, which had entered into Concession Agreement with Jaypee Infratech in February 2003, had filed claims of Rs 6,111.59 crore, mainly on account of pending works and External Development Charges, Unexecuted External Development Works and other future works. It had also sought 64.7% additional compensation payable to farmers from whom it had acquired land.

YEIDA has also raised objections towards certain reliefs and concessions sought in the resolution plan and to the 'Transfer and Monetisation of Beneficial Interest in Land Parcels' to the assenting financial creditors.

However, the NCLT rejected it by saying that "YEIDA was unable to explain that as to how it has created any security interest."

It also dismissed the objection raised by the parent firm JAL and Manoj Gaur, the Personal Guarantor of JIL, that the Suraksha bid fails to maximise the value of assets.

The NCLT rejected the plea of ICICI Bank, which had contended that the payment provided to it in the plan fails to satisfy the liquidation value. The tribunal said it has found 'no error' by the IRP of JIL while calculating the liquidation value of the dissenting financial creditor/ ICICI Bank.