The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) has dismissed an appeal by Ramco Systems against SpiceJet related to alleged non-payment of dues by the airline company for software solutions it got according to an agreement. The tribunal has allowed Ramco to move a court of competent jurisdiction for appropriate relief.
“We are studying the order and will be taking appropriate actions after due consultations. The principal amount claimed from SpiceJet is Rs 2.99 crore,” said a Ramco spokesperson.
The order comes on an appeal Ramco had filed against an order by the National Company Law Tribunal’s (NCLT) New Delhi Bench, in December 2017, which refused its application as an operational creditor under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), 2016, against the airline.
Ramco and SpiceJet entered into an aviation software solutions agreement in May 2013 and certain amendments were made in July 2014.
Ramco alleged that a huge amount is payable by the airline company and an invoice for Rs 62.89 lakh was given to it in January 2016. SpiceJet argued that all claims are depended on invoices for the year 2013-14 and was due and payable by August 2014.
The airline also argued that two invoices for a total of over Rs 90 lakh were dated July 2014 and had never been issued by Ramco.
The software company had also claimed an amount of Rs 1.42 crore for the unbilled licence dated March 2013, it added.
Upholding the NCLT order, the NCLAT Bench observed there is nothing on record to suggest that the invoices dated July 23, 2014, were forwarded or received by SpiceJet. “Therefore, the demand notice issued on April 24, 2017, relates to the invoice dated July 23, 2014, though it cannot be held to be barred by limitation, but in absence of specific evidence relating to invoices actually forwarded by the appellant (Ramco Systems) and there being a doubt, we hold that the adjudicating authority (NCLT) has rightly refused to entertain the application under Section 9 which requires strict proof of debt and default,” said the Bench.
However, the order passed by the NCLAT or the NCLT will not come in the way of Ramco to move a court of competent jurisdiction for appropriate relief, said the tribunal, while dismissing the appeal.
Earlier, the NCLT dismissed the application on ground of inconsistency in overall payments and non-compliance with relevant provisions in the absence of a certificate from the financial institution maintaining Ramco’s account.
It further observed that SpiceJet, on the other hand, had shown that a certain payment had been made.