The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) "inadvertently" put out on its website Aadhaar and PAN details of creditors, including workmen, of some companies undergoing resolution process, and the issues are expected to be sorted out in the next few days. A senior official said the details came into the public domain "inadvertently" as the regulator is working on a beta project to host the information of creditors of companies undergoing Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP) and liquidation.
The IBBI, a key institution in implementing the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), is working on the project to ensure and enhance transparency with respect to CIRP and liquidation processes, the official said, adding that the matter will be sorted out in the next few days. The details that were inadvertently put out have been removed, the official added.
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It could not be immediately ascertained as to such details of how many creditors were put out. There was no official comment from the IBBI.
Under the IBBI regulations, details about creditors, including workmen, of companies undergoing CIRP or liquidation should be disclosed on the websites of the companies (corporate debtors) concerned. The details required include name of the creditor concerned, amount claimed and amount admitted. In case of a CIRP, these details have to be disclosed by the resolution professional concerned while in liquidation processes, the respective liquidator would make these disclosures.
Such details have to be put out on the websites of the companies concerned. With instances where many small companies do not have or are unable to maintain their websites, the IBBI is working on a project to host these details on its website for easy access of the creidtors. The work started a few days back.
In some cases, the details about creditors, including information such as their Aadhaar and PAN, were submitted in the PDF format. Since it is difficult to remove specific details from the PDF files, Aadhaar and PAN information of many people were inadvertently made available on the IBBI website, the official said. Those details that were inadvertently put out have now been removed, the official added.
There have been instances of resolution professionals approaching the IBBI and the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) with respect to the regulations requiring public disclosure of details of creditors. In an order passed in December 2018, the Allahabad bench of the NCLT had directed an Interim Resolution Professional (IRP) to publish the list of creditors on the corporate debtor's website.
"… IRP is directed to publish the list of the creditors containing the names of the creditors along with the amount claimed by them, the amount of their claims admitted and the security interest, if any, on the website of the corporate debtor," the NCLT bench had said. The order had come on a petition filed by the IRP seeking certain directions with respect to disclosure of names of creditors and amounts claimed by them with respect to the corporate debtor (company) undergoing CIRP.
Since the provisions of the CIRP came into force on December 1, 2016, a total of 4,376 CIRPs have commenced till the end of March this year. Out of the total, 2,653 have been closed, including 348 CIRPs that ended in approval of resolution plans. As many as 617 CIRPs were closed on appeal or review or settled, while 411 were withdrawn and 1,277 ended in orders for liquidation.