SC rejects Jaypee promoters’ demand to bid for ailing unit

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NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday sidestepped a demand by the promoters of Jaypee Group to bid for its ailing unit Jaypee Infratech under the bankruptcy code, and told resolution professionals to quickly pick the winning bid and approach court for vetting.

“The committee of creditors should at least open my bid,” Jaypee counsel Anupam Lal Das told a three-judge bench led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra.

The bench did not oblige under protest from interim resolution professional (IRP) represented by senior advocate Parag Tripathi who pointed out that Section 29A of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) bars Jaypee from bidding. “The statute bars them,” he said.

Section 29A bars any insolvent person or wilful defaulter from bidding for any ailing company which is the subject to resolution process.

Tripathi also told the court that the committee of creditors (CoC) was in the process of finalising a bid.

The bench, comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud besides the CJI, then directed him to quickly finalise a deal and come back to court for a go ahead. “The process must quickly come to an end,” the bench said after hearing amicus Gaurav Agarwal who pushed for it.

The committee of creditors, Tripathi suggested, has to clear any bid by a threefourths majority.

Das charged the committee with not even opening Jaypee’s bid. The promoters’ bid is one of the many bids received for the ailing company.

Appearing for some homebuyers, senior advocate Jayant Bhushan said there was a stalemate in the IBC proceedings. While resolution professionals were in the process of finalising a resolution, there were conflicting legal provisions that may stand in its way, he said.

Under IBC, any resolution scheme has to be cleared by three-fourths of the creditors, whereas under Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 (RERA), two-thirds of homebuyers have to clear it, Bhushan said.

The amicus on his part told the bench that though several prospective bidders had bid for the ailing company, nothing had come of it from August last year to April this year.

“The process must quickly come to an end. The CoC must pick a bidder and finalise it after taking permission of the court,” he said. The bench then directed the IRP to do the needful.

In the interim, the top court asked the company to deposit another .`100 crore in court on or before May 11to take care of the dues of homebuyers who have invested in many projects of Jaypee.

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