The Mumbai bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) on August 31 directed the erstwhile promoters of the Videocon Group, including Venugopal Dhoot, his brother Pradipkumar Dhoot, son Anirudh and other former key managerial personnel (KMP), to furnish an affidavit detailing their moveable and immovable properties.
The NCLT has issued the order on a petition filed by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) under Section 241, 242 and 246 of the Companies Act, 2013. These sections of the Companies Act deal with mismanagement in a firm.
As per the order, all the properties including bank accounts, lockers, and demat accounts including jointly held properties will be attached during the pendency of the petition.
“We direct the Petitioners to use all the powers available with it to extend their long arm to thoroughly investigate the affairs of the companies in all the above-mentioned petitions and others,” observed the division bench of Bhaskara Pantula Mohan and Narender Kumar Bhola in its 23-page order. “Unless it is properly investigated as to how the loans were arranged by the corporate debtors the fraud will not be completely be unearthed that a copy of this order may also be shared with Director, SFIO who is already investigating the corporate debtors.”
The NCLT has adjourned the case to September 22.
The central government, through the MCA, is seeking the tribunal’s intervention to get an order to attach assets and disgorge money from the erstwhile promoters of the Videocon Group.
Apart from Videocon Industries Ltd, the MCA has also made other companies Sky Appliances Ltd, Value Industries Ltd, Evans Fraser And Co. (India) Ltd, Ce India Ltd, Century Appliances Ltd, Videocon Telecommunication Ltd and Millennium Appliances India Ltd parties in the case.
Sanjay Shorey, Director for Legal and Prosecution at the MCA, while appearing for the government argued that after the company was admitted for the insolvency resolution, the audit report has found several instances of divergence and siphoning of funds.
Counsel for the State Bank of India-led consortium, the lender for the group, had informed the tribunal that they are supporting the Union of India’s submission in the case.
The consortium of 35 financial lenders had approved Twin Star Technologies’ resolution plan with over 95 percent voting.
On June 8, the NCLT had approved the resolution plan of Twin Star Technologies, a company controlled by Volcan Investments, a company of Vedanta Group’s Anil Agarwal.
Against admitted financial claims of Rs 61,773 crore, the NCLT-approved resolution plan from the Vedanta Group firm was for a little over Rs 3,000 crore.
Subsequently, on July 19, the appellate tribunal had temporarily stayed the NCLT’s order while hearing petitions filed by two dissenting financial creditors Bank of Maharashtra and IFCI.