In a major relief to IT firm HCL Technologies, the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) has stayed the insolvency proceedings initiated against it on a plea filed by a creditor.
A two-member NCLAT bench, while admitting the petition filed by HCL Tech MD and CEO C Vijayakumar stayed the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) order of January 17, 2022, to initiate insolvency against the IT major.
The appellate tribunal also issued notice to Sahaj Bharti Travels, which had claimed a default of Rs 3.54 crore by HCL Tech, to file its reply within two weeks and also granted one week to the IT firm to file a rejoinder to it.
The NCLAT has directed to list the matter on February 16 for the next hearing.
“In the meantime, the order dated January 17, 2022, passed by the Adjudicating Authority (NCLT) shall remain stayed,” said the NCLAT bench headed by Chairperson Justice Ashok Bhushan.
An HCL spokesperson said: "The company has appealed to the NCLAT, who have stayed the said NCLT order".
On January 17, 2022, the NCLT had directed the initiation of insolvency proceedings against HCL Tech, admitting default over claims of Rs 3.54 crore by Sahaj Bharti Travels.
The NCLT order was challenged by the HCL Tech MD before the appellate tribunal NCLAT.
HCL Tech had submitted that it was not a case where the resolution proceedings ought to have been initiated.
Sahaj Bharti Travels had demanded an amount of Rs 3.54 crore on the claim of a minimum guarantee of transport charges from April 30, 2015, to December 31, 2018.
However - HCL Tech while filing a reply on June 25, 2019 - had denied the claim and indicated that the minimum guarantee claim was not payable because there was a breach of conditions and a penalty was also imposed on the cab operator.
HCL Tech also said the entire payment about invoices issued by the operational creditor has been made.
Agreeing to it, the NCLAT said: "We have looked into the reply by which notice of dispute was given, which indicate that a genuine dispute was raised by the Corporate Debtor (HCL)”.
It further observed that the NCLT proceeded to decide the dispute between the parties like a civil court, which ought not to have been done.
“We are satisfied that the case has been made out to grant an interim relief,” said the NCLAT while staying the order.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)