Indiabulls Commercial Credit Limited has moved the Delhi High Court challenging the demands for loan installments made by Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI).
Indiabulls has contended that SIDBI can't make such demands in light of the moratorium imposed by the Reserve Bank of India by circular dated 27/03/2020.
Appearing for the Petitioner, Senior Advocate Rajiv Nayyar informed the court that the Petitioner had entered into a loan agreement with SIDBI whereunder the latter had agreed to disburse a loan amount not exceeding Rs.750 crores to the Petitioner and pursuant thereto disbursed a sum of Rs.575 crores to it.
He further submitted that the loan instalment of Rs.31,94,79,453/- for the month of March was duly paid on 09.03.2020, whereafter due to the onset of the pandemic of COVID19 and the subsequent lockdown in the country, RBI in order to give temporary relief to the borrowers all across the country, on 27.03.2020 issued a circular giving liberty to all banks to allow moratorium of three months on payment of instalments in respect of all term loans outstanding as on 01.03.2020, subject to the borrower making the said request.
Mr Nayyar therefore assailed that despite the issuance of the said circular, SIDBI on 03.04.2020 raised a demand towards the instalment payable in April.
When the Petitioner made a representation before SIDBI, seeking relief under the aforesaid circular issued by the RBI, SIDBI replied by saying that it has to clarify with the central bank as to whether the said moratorium applies to Non Banking Financial Companies (NBFC) also.
Appearing for SIDBI, Mr Sanjiv Sagar submitted that it is still awaiting necessary clarification from RVI, and that it has already received the payment from the Petitioner towards the instalment due in April, 2020.
He further submitted that SIDBI is taking expeditious steps to get the necessary clarification from RBI and contends that in any event, even if the demand from the next month is raised in due course, the Petitioner will not be treated as a defaulter, till a clarification is obtained.
Moreover, Mr Sagar clarified that no such information of the Petitioner being an alleged defaulter will be given to any credit rating agency.
In light of these submissions, the Single Bench of Justice Rekha Palli disposed off the petition by clarifying that SIDBI will not raise any further demand on the Petitioner towards the due instalments against it till it obtains a clarification from RBI.
The court further noted that in case SIDBI receives a clarification from RBI that the circular dated 27.03.2020 is not applicable to the Petitioner and therefore makes a demand towards further instalments, the Petitioner would be at liberty to assail the said demand in accordance with law.
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