Tata Steel eligible to bid for Bhushan Steel: NCLAT

Bhushan Steel founder Neeraj Singal and the firm’s operational creditor Larsen & Toubro had moved NCLAT against the Tata Steel bid. Photo: Reuters

Bhushan Steel founder Neeraj Singal and the firm’s operational creditor Larsen & Toubro had moved NCLAT against the Tata Steel bid. Photo: Reuters

New Delhi:The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) on Friday said Tata Steel Ltd and Vedanta Ltd were eligible to bid for Bhushan Steel Ltd and Electrosteel Steels Ltd, respectively. The two-judge NCLAT Bench, headed by Justice S.J. Mukhopadhyay rejected pleas by Bhushan Steel founder Neeraj Singal and the firm’s operational creditor Larsen & Toubro Ltd, and ruled that Tata Steel was eligible to bid for the debt-ridden company.

“On hearing the counsel for the parties and taking into consideration the submissions made by the counsel for the Appellant- ‘Operational Creditor’ and the Respondents, we hold that the ‘Resolution Plan’ submitted by ‘Tata Steel Limited’ is fair and equitable to all the Creditors, including the ‘Operational Creditors’, therefore, no interference is called for,” the tribunal in its judgment.

The NCLAT order comes a day after the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) arrested Neeraj Singal on charges of siphoning off more than ₹2,000 crore from Bhushan Steel’s bank loans, using 80 different companies. Singal had moved NCLAT questioning Tata Steel’s eligibility to bid for the company under Section 29(A) of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), while L&T had moved the appellate tribunal seeking to be declared a secured creditor so that it received higher priority in repayment of dues.

The appellate tribunal also rejected appeals against Electrosteel Steels sale to Vedanta. “…we hold that ‘Vedanta Limited’ is eligible and clause (d) of Section 29A of the ‘I&B Code’ is not attracted in its case,” it said in its judgment.