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2023 (9) TMI 528 - BOMBAY HIGH COURT
Petition for winding up of company - umbrella guarantee - Recovery against the Guarantor of the loan for default in payment by the company - whether the defence raised by the Respondent in the Company Petition was genuine and whether there was a serious dispute about the debt? - HELD THAT:- In the case of NEELKANTH DEVANSH DEVELOPERS PRIVATE LIMITED VERSUS URBAN INFRASTRUCTURE VENTURE CAPITAL LIMITED [2016 (5) TMI 884 - BOMBAY HIGH COURT], a Division Bench of this Court while dealing with Company Appeal wherein the order of learned Single Judge in Company petitions was challenged and it was held that This Court therefore while exercising its appellate jurisdiction under Clause 15 of the Letters Patent Act is not expected to interfere with the order passed by the learned Single Judge, unless it comes to the conclusion that the finding is perverse or is based on material which is not part of the record.
Future some relevant dates are material for the purpose of considering the dispute raised before this Court. The Respondent Company was incorporated under the Companies Act, 1956 somewhere in January 1998. There was some joint venture agreement executed between the Directors of the Respondent with that of the Appellant. The memorandum refers to a meeting dated 19.12.1997 concerning joint venture agreement. It thus shows that the Respondent Company was in existence prior to the joint venture agreement between its Directors and the Appellant somewhere in December, 1997 - It is a matter of record that the Appellant initially refused to produce the annexures on the precise ground that such enclosure is a confidential document and that same is not required for the purpose of deciding the petition.
The question remains as to how in the enclosure to the bank guarantee dated 20.12.2004 reference to advance/loan of ₹6 crores of the Respondent by the branch of the same bank at Mumbai appears. Admittedly, on 20.12.2004, there was no sanction letter issued by the Mumbai branch of the said bank offering loan of ₹6 crores to the Respondent. Thus, the annexure wherein reference to the Respondent appears as on 20.12.2004 and in connection with loan of ₹6 crores appears to be seriously doubtful. The same aspect has been considered by the learned Single Judge in the impugned judgment. We do not consider that such observations of the learned Single Judge are in any way arbitrary or perverse.
So-called admissions on the part of Respondent regarding the bank guarantee - HELD THAT:- Upon considering such documents as referred by Mr Rao containing admissions on the part of Respondent, it is also found that though there is some reference to the guarantee issued by the Appellant for the said loan, it does not specifically refer to the guarantee dated 20.12.2004. The Appellant approached the Court with a specific case that the loan issued in favour of Respondent was secured by a bank guarantee dated 20.12.2004 and therefore, it was incumbent upon them to satisfy this Court that such bank guarantee in fact refers to the loan issued in favour of Respondent on 10.01.2005.
Thus, the defence raised by the Respondent cannot be considered as moonshine defence and there appears to be substantial defence raised with regard to claim of the Appellant for recovery of the amount of more than ₹2 crores which the Mumbai branch allegedly recovered from the Appellant on the basis of bank guarantee dated 20.12.2004 - Though Respondent raised other aspects with regard to malicious attempt on the part of Appellant, collusion between the Appellant and the bank, such aspects were not raised before the learned Single Judge and further, such aspects were not considered and decided in the impugned order - such aspects raised on behalf of Respondent in this appeal cannot be considered.
The Appeal stands rejected.