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NCLT admits SFIO plea to wind up IBMA

Mumbai: The National Company Law Tribunal, Mumbai on Wednesday admitted Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) petitions for winding up the Indian Bullion Market Association (IBMA) and Juggernaut Projects, which are being probed in connection with the alleged Rs 5,600-crore National Spot Exchange (NSEL) scam.

IBMA is a subsidiary of NSEL and a step-down subsidiary of 63 moons, NSEL’s parent. Juggernaut is one of the exchange defaulters.

SFIO is planning to file winding-up petitions against 15 defaulter companies, and 17 subsidiaries and associate companies of NSEL, sources in the know of the development told ET. “We have started with two companies. The rest will follow soon. This should be done within the next two to three months and would include both subsidiaries and defaulters,”said an official in the know.

“The petitions were admitted on Wednesday and now, the two parties have been given time till March 4 to file their say. This is when the tribunal will hear the matter again,” advocate Ashish Mehta, SFIO attorney, told ET.

However, Mumbai Police sources told ET that winding-up pleas may delay the case. “The properties of defaulters have been attached by the Economic Offences Wing and the Enforcement Directorate probing the scam. With the SFIO moving for winding up of these companies, the trial would get delayed, as the assets are common (to both),” said an official.

“IBMA was registered as an institutional trading and clearing members (ITCM) of NSEL and had 89 trading members registered under it. It directly had 19 clients registered under it… IBMA was being used as a vehicle by NSEL for generating fictitious documents to support the illegal trading on its exchange, that is, by way of paired traders contracts, to cover up for the fact that no physical delivery was involved in the trading of the contract,” the application filed before the NCLT, and reviewed by ET, read.

SFIO states, “Juggernaut ignored bye-laws of NSEL exchange and started buying and selling goods without any or sufficient verification of physical commodity…. It was involved in circular, paper trades where by one entity of the group used to sell the commodity, while the other entity of the group used to buy the same commodity with a view to close the loop for the online traders in paired contracts.”

Meanwhile, NSEL Investors Action Group has written to MCA requesting expediting the NSEL-FTIL merger.

NCLT Allows Fresh Bidding for Amtek
MUMBAI: A Chandigarh bankruptcy court on Wednesday allowed a fresh round of bids to resolve Amtek Auto’s debt more than 18 months after the company was put into administration for its failure to repay about Rs 12,000 crore to lenders. The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has granted the resolution professional (RP) an exclusion period of 140 days to re-do the insolvency resolution process, two people aware of the development told ET. NCLT was hearing a petition by the Committee of Creditors. (By: ET Bureau: VATSALA GAUR)