The Supreme Court bench comprising of Justice L N Rao and Justice P S Narasimha in the case of Safire Technologies Pvt Ltd versus Regional Provident Fund Commissioner reiterates that an appeal against the order of NCLT shall be filed before the NCLAT within a period of 30 days and the appellate tribunal can only condone delay for a period of 15 days.
The appellant filed a civil appeal before the Supreme Court under Section 62 of Insolvency and Bankruptcy code, 2016 (IBC/Code) against the order dated 10.01.2021 passed by NCLAT wherein it has issued notice in an appeal even when there was a delay of 388 days in filing the appeal before NCLAT.
The Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP) of Maruti Koatsu Cylinders Limited was initiated by NCLT Ahmedabad vide its order dated 26.04.2018. The Committee of Creditors approved the resolution plan on 04.04.2019 and the same was approved by NCLT on 22.10.2019.
Regional Provident fund commissioner (RPFC)filed its claim with the resolution professional on 09.10.2019 which was not entertained by resolution professional and thereafter an appeal was filed by RPFC on 14.12.2020 against the plan approval order dated 22.10.2019 that is after a delay of 388 days.
Contents of Appellant
It was contended by the Appellant that by the virtue of Section 61 of the code, an appeal before the NCLAT can be filed within a period of 30 days and the delay of only 15 days can be condoned by NCLAT.
The appellant further relied upon the judgment of Supreme Court in the case of kalpraj Dharamshi versus Kotak Mahindra Investment bank which held that appeal has to be filed before NCLAT within a period of 30 days.
Contentions Of Regional Provident Fund Commissioner
It was contended by RPFC that the period of limitation for filing the appeal will start from the date of knowledge as the RPFC was not a party before the NCLT, it came to know about the plan approval order only at a later date.
RPFC further relied on the case of Raja Harish Chandra Raj Singh vs. Dy. Land Acquisition Officer [1962 (1) SCR 676] to contend that the provisions relating to limitation shall be given a liberal interpretation.
Decision Of Supreme Court
The Supreme Court held that similar issue fell for consideration in the case of Kalpraj Dharamshi versus Kotak Mahindra Investment bank wherein Supreme Court already held that an appeal shall be filed before NCLAT within a period of 30 days from the date of order passed by NCLT.
"In view of the aforesaid judgment, we are of the considered view that the Appellate Tribunal committed an error in issuing notice in an appeal that was filed by Respondent No.1 with delay of 388 days"
It was further held by the Supreme Court that the case relied upon by RPFC pertains to Section 18 of the land acquisition act whereas the case pertains to Limitation prescribed under Section 61 of IBC.
Case Title: Safire Technologies Pvt. Ltd Vs Regional Provident Fund Commissioner & Anr