NCLAT admits HUDCO's intervention plea claiming Rs 195 cr dues from Vikram Bakshi
PSU cites DRT order that bars CPRL boss from selling shares; next hearing on May 27.
Housing and Urban Development Corp (Hudco) filed an intervention in the NCLAT citing a Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) order that prevents Bakshi from selling shares in Connaught Plaza Restaurants (CPRL), the McDonald’s franchisee for north and east India.
“We will have to go through the settlement. If the settlement is contrary to any court of law, we may not accept it,” said the two-member NCLAT bench led by justice SJ Mukhopadhaya.
McDonald’s India announced last week that it had acquired the 50% shareholding of Bakshi in CPRL, ending the dispute between the two. This entity was previously a 50:50 joint venture between McDonald’s India and Vikram Bakshi for McDonalds’ operations in North and East India.
Bakshi, subsequently, resigned from the position of managing director and CEO as part of the agreement.
Loan to Bakshi's Hotel
Hudco told the NCLAT that the settlement violated an injunction passed by the DRT over unpaid principal, interest and penalties on a loan of Rs 60 crore to Bakshiowned hospitality company Ascot Hotels. Hudco had filed a criminal case against Bakshi in 2013 for a bounced cheque under the Negotiable Instruments Act when the company claimed the amount owed to it by Bakshi had crossed Rs 75 crore. It has also filed several cases against Bakshi under Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act.
“There cannot be any settlement whereby Mr. Bakshi seeks to transfer those (CPRL) shares to either McDonald's or anybody else. The matter is pending and there is a judicial order,” said senior counsel for Hudco, solicitor general Tushar Mehta. The bench asked Bakshi’s counsel to reach a settlement with Hudco to apply a “final touch” to the settlement with McDonald’s India.
“The order of Debt Recovery Tribunal remains. We have to respect the other tribunal. We cannot annul the other tribunal’s order,” the bench said.
Counsel for both McDonald’s and Bakshi were seeking acceptance of the terms of settlement and vacation of previous orders by the National Company Law Tribunal, bringing the matter to a close. “You cannot be discharged if the terms of the settlement are against the order of a court of competent jurisdiction” the bench said.
The dispute between Bakshi and McDonald’s India came to the fore in 2008 when McDonald’s tried to buy out Bakshi’s 50% stake in CRPL, a joint venture between McDonald’s and Bakshi. In 2013, McDonald’s India removed Bakshi from the position of MD of CRPL. Bakshi was reinstated as MD in 2017 by the NCLT before the matter came to the NCLAT.
The matter will next be heard on May 27.