Terming Essar Steel’s petition
against the insolvency proceedings
“futile”, lead lender State Bank of India’s counsel told the Gujarat High Court
on Thursday that the borrower company was aware and had agreed to the proceedings in the June 22 joint lenders’ forum (JLF) meeting.
Both the Reserve Bank of India and SBI
counsels on Thursday argued that Essar Steel
had suppressed facts that it was taken by surprise by the RBI’s June 13 press release amid debt restructuring talks with banks.
had accepted in the meeting that SBI
can go to National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) for insolvency proceedings, and this has been kept from the court and is sufficient to show Essar Steel
the door and dismiss its petition,” the SBI
counsels also sought discontinuance of the interim relief offered to Essar Steel
to which the latter responded with counter arguments, which will continue till July 14. The hearing for admission of insolvency proceedings
against Essar Steel
has been deferred to early next week by the NCLT.
In his arguments, the SBI
counsel narrated a set of chronological events from June 15 when the SBI
wrote to Essar Steel
on convening a JLF meeting on June 22 till the latter’s subsequent letters to its lender. It added that eight high ranking officials of Essar Steel, including Essar Group Chief Executive Officer Prashant Ruia, were present at the June 22 meeting.
counsel told the court that after the meeting, Essar Steel
wrote to SBI
and accepted in its presentation made to the JLF that it would “participate in insolvency proceedings
with the NCLT” and had requested for an insolvency resolution professional to work “seamlessly with Essar Steel
in a cohesive manner”.