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Last Updated : Dec 06, 2019 02:47 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

BPSL insolvency: NCLAT asks ED, Centre to file affidavits on JSW Steel immunity plea on Dec 12

The Tribunal has asked Enforcement Directorate and the government to file responses. JSW Steel has asked for immunity from investigations against former promoters of BPSL

 
 
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The Bhushan Power & Steel insolvency saga seems to be getting stretched further, with the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLT) on December 6 listing the next hearing for December 12.

The NCLAT bench has asked the Enforcement Directorate and the government to file an affidavit with their responses in a case that will have an impact on other insolvency cases too.

The central issue is the petition by JSW Steel, which had emerged as the highest bidder for BPSL, seeking to give it immunity from investigations against former promoters of the stressed company.

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The ED had in October attached BPSL's assets, including land, building and machinery, worth more than Rs 4,000 crore, as part of investigations related to alleged diversion of funds.

The NCLAT, on the other hand, later asked the ED to release the assets. But this was contended by the investigation agency, in what later became a debate over which law - civil or criminal  - is superior.

The ED argued that the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) overrides the IBC, and thus the NCLAT doesn't have the jurisdiction to interfere.

NCLT had on September 5 approved a Rs 19,700 crore bid for the debt-ridden BPSL. The bench had reiterated that criminal cases against the promoters of BPSL will not impact JSW Steel as its new promoter.

BPSL had debts of about Rs 47,000 crore.

The case will have an impact on other high profile insolvency cases.

ArcelorMittal is said to have sought immunity from future investigations into Essar Steel and its former promoters.

The government also plans to amend the IBC to provide companies taking over stressed assets immunity against prosecution for crimes committed by earlier promoters. This would help make the insolvency process attractive to prospective bidders.

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First Published on Dec 6, 2019 02:36 pm
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