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NCLAT allows withdrawal of Liberty House bid for Amtek Auto's ARGL

ARGL Ltd is a subsidiary of debt-ridden auto components maker Amtek Auto Ltd. (Bloomberg)Premium
ARGL Ltd is a subsidiary of debt-ridden auto components maker Amtek Auto Ltd. (Bloomberg)

  • Liberty House had emerged as the top bidder for ARGL Ltd but dragged its feet on submitting a bank guarantee
  • Under Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), a resolution process has to be completed under 180 days with an extension of 90 days

New Delhi: The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) on Friday allowed the withdrawal of UK-based Liberty House bid for ARGL Ltd on the plea of resolution professional of the debt-ridden company. A two-member bench, headed by Justice S.J. Mukhopadhaya, also pulled up Liberty House for not pursuing the corporate insolvency resolution process after being selected as the highest bidder.

“You are a failure party all the time, dragging your feet. You are in bad reputation. We would not allow you to take advantage of the appellate tribunal," the bench said.

NCLAT has upheld the previous order of the Chandigarh bench of NCLT, which had imposed a cost of 1 lakh on Liberty House citing casual approach.

The appellate tribunal also directed to deduct the time period between 14 December 2018 and 8 March 2019 from the resolution process.

Under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), a resolution process has to be completed under 180 days with a further extension of 90 days to 270 days.

Meanwhile, NCLAT also said that its order would not debate the participation of Liberty House in in other resolution processes. “Any observations against Liberty should not construed as finding against them ineligible from participating in any other resolution process," NCLAT said.

Liberty House had emerged as the highest bidder in ARGL Ltd, a subsidiary of debt-ridden auto components maker Amtek Auto Ltd. However, the company refused to go ahead and submit a bank guarantee after emerging as the highest bidder, following which the resolution professional of the company moved NCLT to cancel the bid. NCLT had allowed it and imposed a cost on Liberty House.

This was challenged by Liberty House before NCLAT.

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