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When ‘Tamasha’ guarantees ‘Nautanki’ | Three banks look to recover bad loans

The Great Indian Nautanki Company owes three banks about Rs 142 crore, besides interest and penalties. One of its corporate guarantors is Great Indian Tamasha Company. But can company names be considered an indicator of a borrower’s credibility?

June 21, 2022 / 05:00 PM IST

When businesses default on loan repayments, they turn into non-performing assets (NPA) for banks that advanced the money to them.

One such instance that has caught the attention of the banking and corporate fraternity’s eyeballs is Great Indian Nautanki Company and its corporate guarantor Great Indian Tamasha Company.

While the default amount in this case may be relatively small, the names of both the companies have certainly aroused curiosity.

Nautanki literally translates into drama, while tamasha is the Hindi word for fuss or commotion. This probably explains the media attention and social media frenzy surrounding the case.

The issue came to light when IDBI Bank put out a public notice for the sale of assets of Great Indian Tamasha Company through an e-auction. When a company (Great Indian Nautanki Company) defaults on a loan, the guarantor (Great Indian Tamasha Company) is liable to pay and its property can be attached until the amount is recovered. The attached property can be auctioned too.

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Also read: Finance Ministry asks banks to expedite NPA resolution; focus on credit growth

What we know so far

The Great Indian Nautanki Company owes IDBI Bank Rs 86.48 crore, HDFC Bank Rs 6.26 crore and Bank of Baroda Rs 49.23 crore, besides interest and penalties. As of May 1, the dues of IDBI Bank stood at Rs 92.69 crore plus interest with effect from May 2, according to IDBI Bank’s notice.

Its directors or guarantors are Anumod Sharma, Anu Appaiah, Viraf Sarkari and Sanjay Chaudhary, SG Investments, Great Indian Tamasha Company and Wizcraft International Entertainment.

IDBI Bank has invited bids or offers for the sale of the property of Great Indian Tamasha Company under provisions of the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest (SARFAESI) Act.

The SARFAESI Act allows financial organisations and banks to auction residential and commercial assets of a borrower that has defaulted on debt.

IDBI Bank, HDFC Bank and Bank of Baroda have sought bids through an e-caution for the sale of 107.24 acres of land owned and mortgaged by Great Indian Tamasha Company with these banks.

The properties scheduled to be auctioned are situated in the Peroor village's Ballamvati Mandal Panchayat of Kodagu district in Karnataka.

The properties have a reserve price of Rs 11.53 crore and will remain open from July 16 to July 22. The e-auction will be conducted on July 27, according to the public notice.

Typically, banks invoke security/guarantee only after classifying an account as an NPA. Moneycontrol could not immediately confirm when the banks declared the account an NPA.

What do these companies do?

New Delhi-based Great Indian Nautanki Company was set up in 2007 and is an operator of entertainment venues and shows, most notably the Kingdom of Dreams in Gurgaon.

Great Indian Tamasha Company was set up in January 2008 and is based in New Delhi. It is a non-government company with an authorised share capital of Rs 2 crore. It is involved in sporting and recreational activities.

Anumod Sharma and Sanjay Choudhry are directors of both companies.

IDBI Bank had filed an insolvency application against Wizcraft International Entertainment, a guarantor of Great Indian Nautanki Company, with the Mumbai bench of the National Company Law Tribunal in 2021, for not being able to recover dues after invoking its corporate guarantee.

Alarm bells?

Names such as Nautanki and Tamasha are not very common in India’s corporate culture.

Some banking and corporate executives had questioned why the names of the companies themselves had not triggered alarm bells when banks conducted their due diligence.

However, a legal expert was of the opinion that names should not be considered an indicator of a company’s credibility.

“The names sound dubious but we cannot conclude that due diligence was compromised,” a Mumbai-based lawyer said on condition of anonymity. “The long and short of it is that the loan has turned sour and banks will have to struggle to recover the default.”
Siddhi Nayak is correspondent at Moneycontrol.com
first published: Jun 21, 2022 04:47 pm
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