The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) has told the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) in an affidavit that banks and financial institutions deducted more than Rs 758 crore for servicing their debt from the accounts of Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS) and its group companies between October 2018 and June 2019, despite orders from the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) against the same.
“These include amounts debited (without authorisation or instruction) towards repayment or redemption of term loans availed or debentures issued by the relevant IL&FS group entities (including towards interest payments) and by lenders to the current accounts of certain IL&FS group entities in respect of cash credit facilities,” the MCA said in its affidavit.
The NCLAT had in October last year stayed all proceedings against IL&FS and 348 group companies in all courts other than the Supreme Court, until its further orders.
“There shall be a stay of the institution or continuation of suits or any other proceedings by any party or person or bank or company, against IL&FS and its 348 group companies in any court of law/tribunal/arbitration panel or arbitration authority," the appellate tribunal had said at the time.
In the latest affidavit, filed with the fifth progress report, the MCA apprised the NCLT that it was in the month of December 2018 and April 2019, that the banks debited Rs 155 crore and Rs 144 crore, respectively. The lowest amounts of Rs 34 crore and Rs 27 crore were debited in the months of May and June, respectively.
In the detailed progress report, the MCA said that for IL&FS and 25 of its sister companies, financial institutions such as the Bank of Baroda, State Bank of India, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Union Bank of India, Allahabad Bank, ICICI Bank, HDFC bank, among others debited the amounts despite the NCLAT moratorium against the same.
From the parent company IL&FS, both HDFC Bank as well as IDBI Bank had debited a sum of Rs 47 crore and Rs 4 crore, respectively, till May 31. From IL&FS Financial Services (IFIN), one of the largest subsidiaries of IL&FS, 18 banks including Bank of Maharashtra, Andhra Bank, Jammu & Kashmir Bank, Punjab National Bank, and Australia and New Zealand Banking group, among others debited close to Rs 27 crore for servicing their debts despite the moratorium, the MCA told the NCLT.
Though the NCLAT had partially lifted its moratorium to allow green companies to service the debt, it had still forbidden banks from automatically debiting the monies without express approval.
The IL&FS companies from whose accounts these monies have been debited are placed under the amber and red category, MCA said in the affidavit.
“If the creditors of IL&FS group continue with such actions, the result will be that the ‘going concern’ status of the relevant companies will be affected leading to disruption in operations and consequent value deterioration. These ‘going concern’ payments are essential to preserve and protect the value of IL&Fs group entities and if not paid in a timely manner may impact the successful implementation of the resolution framework,” the MCA said in the progress report.