The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal has directed the Committee of Creditors of Bhushan Power to consider all three bids submitted by Tata Steel, Liberty House and JSW Steel.
The CoC was told to submit the list of both the highest and second highest bidder for the debt-ridden company so that the adjudicating authority can approve one in case of any problems with the first resolution plan in future.
The next hearing in the case is posted for August 1.
Lifting the earlier stay on the resolution process, the two-member bench headed by Chairman Justice S J Mukhopadhaya told the resolution professional to invite operational creditors, all the three resolution applicants and suspended board of directors for the meeting to finalise the resolution plan.
The Appellate Tribunal said that CoC will place the selected resolution plan before the adjudicating authority, which may approve it, but they will not give it effect without its prior approval.
During the last hearing on July 17, the Tribunal had hauled up Bhushan Power and Steel resolution profession Mahendra Kumar Khandelwal for not following its orders to allow operational creditors to attend the meeting. It had said that it would consider whether contempt of court proceedings should be initiated against the RP in the next hearing (July 20).
Liberty House, a resolution applicant, had alleged that proper information was not provided about the meeting and on July 11 the resolution professional had given a 19-page checklist seeking the company’s compliance on Section 29A of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.
On Friday, Khandelwal tendered an unconditional apology, but NCLAT said it would hear it whenever the date comes.
Liberty House has offered an upfront payment of ₹18,500 crore to lenders of Bhushan Power and Steel against an upfront offer of ₹17,000 crore by Tata Steel.
Liberty House’s bid was initially rejected by the CoC because it was made after the February 8 deadline for submission of binding offers. Tata Steel had emerged the highest bidder at the time, exceeding JSW Steel offer, the only other contender then.