The much awaited ruling of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) on the liquidation of Deccan Chronicle Holdings Limited (DCHL) is expected on Wednesday, 1 August. The Hyderabad bench of NCLT, which has heard the case for the last two years, was to deliver its ruling on 24 July, but there was deferment owing to some related petitions before it.
The DCHL, which publishes South India’s leading English daily, Deccan Chronicle, is in the thick of corporate cases that include resolution process under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code. The media house faces a clutch of corporate default and fraud cases and criminal cases of forgery and tampering of accounts against its promoters T. Venkattrami Reddy and Vinayak Ravi Reddy. As many as 33 bankers and non-banking financial institutions have been formed into a committee of creditors (CoC) as per the Code and pressing for settlement of their dues before the NCLT. Meanwhile, the NCLT’s Hyderabad bench headed by Ratakonda Murali added two more lenders—Karvy Financial Services and Suhani Trading Company to the CoC this month.
The NCLT also added another fancier Srei Infrastructure Limited to the list of CoC this week, thus taking the lenders’ number to 36. Earlier, the Hyderabad bench of NCLT turned down Srei’s plea to include them in the CoC, on the ground that Srei, which lent Rs 320 crore to DC group also holds around 20% equity in the company.
But now the appellate bench of the tribunal has added Srei to the DCHL’s CoC, stating that the lender’s right to be treated as assured creditor won’t be changed even after holding a portion of equity in the company. Interestingly, Srei is a bidder whose proposal to infuse an investment of around Rs 1,000 crore is before the Insolvency Resolution Professional (IRP) appointed by the NCLT.
Already, the CoC has rejected a revival plan of Srei in an e-voting held by IRP Mamata Binani two weeks ago and the same was communicated to the NCLT.