The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) Thursday again directed the NCLT Ahmedabad bench to take a decision by March 8 on the Rs 42,000-crore bid submitted by ArcelorMittal for the acquisition of debt-ridden Essar Steel.
This is the third time in last one month when NCLAT has directed the Ahemdabad bench of National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) to pass a final order over the resolution plan submitted by global steel major ArcelorMittal.
Earlier, on February 4 NCLAT had directed the Ahmedabad bench of the NCLT to take a decision on the plan by February 11 and failing to which it may call for records and pass appropriate order under Section 31 of the I&B Code.
However, NCLT could not pass an order and the matter came up for hearing again on February 12, when the appellate tribunal had extended the deadline for a week to February 19 and directed to list the matter on February 28.
A two-member NCLAT bench, headed by Justice S J Mukhopadhaya, on Thursday observed that hearing was not concluded and final order was yet to be passed.
The NCLAT said that if the Ahmedabad bench of National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) fails to pass an order by this deadline, it would call records and pass an order.
"Adjudicating authority (NCLT) has to pass final order by March 8, failing which this appellate tribunal may call all records including resolution plan approved by a committee of creditors (CoC)," said NCLAT.
The appellate tribunal has directed to list the matter on March 13 for next hearing.
It has also directed the registry of NCLT to communicate this order to the Ahmedabad-based bench and its members.
The NCLAT directive came while hearing an application filed by ArcelorMittal whose Rs 42,000-crore takeover proposal of Essar Steel has been approved by the CoC, and is pending before the NCLT for approval.
Earlier, on January 29, NCLT Ahmedabad had rejected the debt settlement proposal put forth by the shareholders of Essar Steel saying the offer violates Section 12A of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.
The NCLT had said that Rs 54,389-crore offer by Essar Steel Asia Holding, which is much higher than the ArcelorMittal's Rs 42,000 crore bid, is not maintainable as the only way to make a proposal is through Section 12A.
Essar Steel owns a 10-million-tonne steel mill in Gujarat.