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NCLAT to NCLT: Provide hearing opportunity to 2 top Videocon Telecom execs whose bank accounts were frozen

The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) has directed the NCLT to go for “fresh determination” and pass a new order after providing opportunity of hearing to two former employees of Videocon Telecommunications, whose assets and bank accounts were frozen.

Directing the Mumbai Bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) to pass necessary fresh recent orders in a “fair, just, dispassionate manner on merits, afresh”, the appellate tribunal said “there was negation of principles of natural justice” by it.

The NCLAT observed that as per the National Company Law Tribunal Rules, 2016, both the appellants – Arvind Bali and Satpal Bansal – former CEO and CFO of the debt-ridden company, were not provided an opportunity of hearing and to file their reply by NCLT.

Earlier, the NCLT, on a plea by the centre, had on August 31, 2021 passed ex-parte interim order freezing of assets and bank accounts of both the Appellant without providing any opportunity of hearing.

This was challenged by both the appellants by filing two separate petitions before the NCLAT, which last week directed the NCLT to go for a fresh determination.

“It is made crystalline clear that the impugned order dated August 31, 2021 of the NCLT Mumbai Bench… so far as the Appellants/Respondents 11 and 12 are concerned it is subject to the fresh determination…,” said the NCLAT.

It further said the order would be passed by the NCLT “after taking into account of the pleadings/reply/response/counter of both the appellants in the main petition “after providing opportunity of hearing and following the principles of natural justice”.

The appellate tribunal also granted liberty to the respective parties to raise all factual and legal pleas in the subject matter in issue before the NCLT.

Both the appellants contended that they had demitted the office of Videocon Telecommunications from March 31, 2017 and later, had no control in respect of its affairs.

The whole issue revolves around the “Writing Off from the Net Receivable” of Rs 21.18 crore from the books of the accounts of Videocon Telecommunications, which was supposedly effected on May 31, 2018, they said contending that no inference can be drawn that they were involved in that. PTI

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