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2023 (6) TMI 547 - NATIONAL COMPANY LAW APPELLATE TRIBUNAL , CHENNAI
Initiation of CIRP - the claim of the applicant kept in abeyance - existence of dispute - pendency of arbitration - entitlement to participate in the CoC as per Section 21 - HELD THAT:- It transpires that on 17.11.2021, the Adjudicating Authority / Tribunal, had initiated the Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process, against the Respondent / Corporate Debtor, appointed an Interim Resolution Professional and declared Moratorium, as per Section 14 of the I & B Code, 2016.
It is represented on behalf of the Appellant that despite the baseless Claim of the Interim Resolution Professional, that no proof, was attached in regard to the Existence of Debt, the Appellant / Petitioner, had resubmitted the relevant documents, and submit further clarification and information, in their Reply, to the letter of the IRP, dated 8th December 2021, so as to facilitate the process of collation of claims, as undertaken by the Resolution Professional - Before the Adjudicating Authority, the Respondent / Resolution Professional of the Corporate Debtor, in the Counter to IA (IBC) No. 155 / 2022 in CP (IB) No. 58 / 9 / AMR / 2021, had mentioned that only after the Respondent, came to know that there is an Arbitration Proceedings, initiated by the Appellant / Applicant, which is pending, the Respondent / Resolution Professional, had kept the Financial Claim of the Appellant, in abeyance.
The clear cut stand of the Respondent is that, he took all measures to collate, verify, determine all the Valid Claims, which were submitted for the Payment, in the Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process of the Corporate Debtor, and complied with the Provisions of the Code, in a meticulous manner. Because of the Appellant’s Claim, is pending before the Arbitral Tribunal, and the outcome of the said Proceedings will determine, whether the Claim, is to be admitted or rejected, and if it is to be admitted, what is the quantum of Money Claimed and Interest? As such, the Respondent / Resolution Professional, was not in a position, to admit / reject the Claim, and hence, kept in abeyance.
In the instant case, the very fact that the Appellant’s Claim, cannot be admitted, till the counterclaim of the Corporate Debtor, is determined, which may end in set off of the Sum, payable to the Appellant / Petitioner, the plea of the Respondent / Resolution Professional, cannot be brushed aside and in an emergency and also when a situation arises, the Resolution Professional, is within his power and limit, to keep the Claims, in abeyance, for plurality of reasons.
The action of the Resolution Professional, in keeping the Claims, in abeyance, because of the pending Arbitration Proceedings, in regard to the counterclaim of the Corporate Debtor, only after which, the Claim Sum of the Appellant, can be determined with certainty - Appeal dismissed.