The Allahabad Bench of the National Company Law Tribunal has held that the publication of the name of homebuyers on the list of creditors does not amount to violation of privacy. This was affirmed during the resolution process initiated against Jaypee Infratech Ltd in accordance with the directions of the Supreme Court vide order dated 9th August 2018.As per the order of the Supreme Court, the Insolvency Resolution Professional (IRP)mentioned the unique code given to the allottees instead of mentioning their names as ‘the investment in flats or plots of land by allottee is information private to the allottees and displaying names and other personal details of allottee without his permission any amount to breach of privacy of the allottee.’
The lenders objected to this stand taken by the IRPas Regulation 13(2) of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (Insolvency Resolution Process for Corporate Persons) Regulations, 2016(CIRP Regulations) mandated disclosure of the names of the creditors and furthermore the Supreme Court had directed the IRP to act in accordance with the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC). It was further objected that the non-publication of names raised a definite doubt as to the genuineness of the home buyers.
The Bench of Judicial Member B Raveendra Babu and Expert Member Saroj Rajware observed that the IRP had not received any such requests of withholding the identity but was instead objected by the homebuyers as the claims made by other homebuyers were necessary for the knowledge of every other homebuyer who is part of the CoC. The Bench further observed:
‘22. The object of directing the JRP to publish the list of the creditors containing the names of the creditors along with the amount claimed by them, is to maintain transparency in respect of their claims and to determine their voting share. Therefore, such an information must be made available not only to the members of CoC and to the other creditors who are not members of the CoC and to the whole world. That is why the Regulation 1 3(2) enjoins on the IRP to publish the list of creditors containing the names of the creditors along with the amount claimed by them on the website of the Corporate Debtor.’
Regarding the privacy of the homebuyers, the Tribunal observed that there was no apparent violation of the Fundamental Rights of the homebuyers on account of such disclosure as contended by the IRPin lieu of the Supreme Court’s judgment in Justice KS Puttaswamy (Retd) and Anr Versus Unionof India and accordingly disposed of the Interim Application by directing the IRP to publish the names of the creditors along with the amounts claimed, the amount of claim admitted and the security interest on the website of the Corporate Debtor.
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