The Delhi High Court on 25th March, 2020 quashed the complaint as well as the summons filed against Tata Steel BSL Limited by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office. The petitioner, i.e. Tata Steel was accused of offences falling under the Companies Act 2013, Companies Act 1956 and the Indian Penal Code, 1860 by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office.
The present petition was filed against an order passed by the Trial Court on 16/08/19.Bhushan Steel Limited, a financial creditor of Tata Steel, initiated the Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP) before the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) in response to which Tata Steel had presented a Resolution Plan as per the petitioner, which was also approved by the Committee of Creditors and by the and by Adjudicating Authority (NCLT). The same was later dismissed by NCLAT.
The counsel for the petitioner pleaded to dismiss the charges against the petitioner as per Section 32A of the IBC of the Insolvency of Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Act, 2020.
Justice Vibhu Bhakru in his judgement stated that a Corporate Debtor would not be liable for any offence committed prior to commencement of the CIRP and the corporate debtor would not be prosecuted if a resolution plan has been approved by the Adjudicating Authority. He dismissed the proceedings against the said petitioner and also all the summons against it stating that the resolution plan had been approved by the Adjudicating Authority (NCLT).
Disposing off the petition, Justice Bhakru further stated that this order will not be affecting the prosecution of the erstwhile promoters or any of the officers who may be directly responsible for committing the offences in relation to the affairs of the petitioner company.