The State Bank of India (SBI) had filed an application in the Mumbai bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) after the company failed to repay its dues exceeding ₹347 crore.
Mumbai-based Valecha Engineering is into construction of roads, bridges and tunnels, airports and irrigation dams, among other projects.
“The supply of essential goods or services to the corporate debtor, if continuing, shall not be terminated or suspended or interrupted during the moratorium period,” said the tribunal in its 34-page order of October 21, which was made available recently.
Counsels for the lender, Subir Kumar and Disha Shah, argued that the infrastructure company availed and enjoyed the credit facilities but failed to repay the dues as a result of which its accounts were classified as non-performing assets (NPA) in June 2016 as per Reserve Bank of India prudential norms.
Countering this, advocate Prateek Seksaria, appearing on behalf of the company, said the application of the bankruptcy code is barred by the law of limitation because it has been filed after three years of the purported default.
However, the tribunal, presided by members Kishore Vemulapalli and Manoj Kumar Dubey, allowed the plea filed by the SBI. It observed that the lender had also initiated recovery proceedings against the company before the Debt Recovery Tribunal on August 8, 2018, for recovery of its legitimate dues and hence the application can’t be termed as time-barred.