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NCLAT wants three more months to decide whether bankrupt telcos spectrum can be sold

An appellate tribunal has asked the telecom department, Aircel and the bankrupt telco’s committee of creditors to approach the Supreme Court and seek a three-month extension to conclude hearings.

The apex court had asked the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal to decide by December 13 whether Aircel could sell spectrum rights allotted to it.

“Since the time is going to expire on December 13, 2020, we request learned counsel for the parties to make a joint request before the Hon’ble apex court for extension of time at least by three months, keeping in view the uncertainties that have caused delay in concluding the hearing,” the NCLAT said in an order on Friday.

The parties are likely to seek the extension from the apex court in the coming week, said one person aware of the developments.

The three-month period sought is to account for delays that have already occurred on account of the Covid-19 pandemic as well as the tribunal’s winter break till January, apart from the likelihood of prolonged hearings, given the complex nature of the case.

The three-member NCLAT bench headed by acting chairperson Justice Bansi Lal Bhat sought the extension as it did not want to be at odds with the SC’s decision, another person involved in the matter said.

The DoT has contested the National Company Law Tribunal’s approval of a resolution plan from UV Asset Reconstruction Company, which includes the transfer of spectrum rights. The DoT said spectrum is a public asset that cannot be sold.

The opposing parties averred that it should be possible under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, given that debt resolution is also in public interest. Look Mmygadget

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