New Delhi: The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) on Monday directed the Committee of Creditors (CoC) for Bhushan Power and Steel to consider UK-based Liberty House’s resolution plan for the debt-ridden company and “take (an) appropriate commercial decision".

A bench headed by M.M. Kumar directed that the insolvency resolution professional to place the unopened sealed cover containing Liberty House’s resolution plan before the next meeting of the CoC.

Ruling that the period of litigation stands excluded from the time-bound resolution period, the tribunal further extended Bhushan Power and Steel’s resolution deadline to 23 June from 22 April.

Stating that “the rejection (if so decided by the CoC subsequently) shall be on a substantive ground against a flimsy one", the NCLT asked the CoC to “not reject it on the ground of delay emanating from the process document or any other document internally circulated by the RP or the CoC".

Liberty House had moved the NCLT on 26 February against the rejection of its “unopened" bid for the corporate debtor by the CoC for late submission and failure to submit certain documents such as a confidentiality undertaking.

The last date for submission of bids was 8 February, whereas the insolvency resolution professional received Liberty House’s proposal on 20 February.

Bhushan Power and Steel, which owes over Rs48,500 crore to a consortium of lenders led by Punjab National Bank (PNB), is among the 12 large companies identified by the Reserve Bank of India for early insolvency resolution.

Apart from Liberty House, Tata Steel Ltd and JSW Steel are also in the race to acquire the bankrupt steel maker.

Earlier this month, the UK-based industrial conglomerate Liberty House, whose net worth is above $500 million, was chosen as the highest preferred bidder to acquire the debt-laden auto parts firm Amtek Auto Ltd.