A two-member panel of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), in Mumbai, has agreed to hear a petition made by the State Bank of India (SBI) to initiate personal bankruptcy against Anil Ambani, after the former billionaire failed to repay his debt.
The panel has appointed a bankruptcy administrator to verify a claim by SBI, that Ambani offered about $160 million of personal guarantees while seeking loans in 2016 for his now insolvent Reliance Communications Ltd and Reliance Infratel Ltd, according to an order on the court's website.
Reliance Communications (R.Comm)and Reliance Telecom Infrastructure Ltd (RTIL) are part of the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group.
The decision of NCLT to admit Ambani into bankruptcy process or reject the case will be taken based on the report.
NCLT has observed that the RComand RITL committed default in repayment in and around January 2017. The accounts were retrospectively declared as Non-Performing Account (NPA) with effect from 26 August 2016, which is even before loan agreements had been entered into.
Loans of Rs 565 crore and Rs 635 crore were given to RCom and RTIL, respectively and in September 2016, Anil Ambani provided a personal guarantee for availing the credit facility.
Later in 2017, accounts of RCom and RITL were held to be in default, retrospectively, since Aug 2016.
According to news reports, SBI had invoked the personal guarantee issued by Anil Ambani in January 2018. In February 2020, the bank issued a demand notice to him seeking recovery of dues but received no response.