Limitation on initiation of ‘process’ by financial creditor to be counted from the date when Section 7 I&B Code came into force: NCLAT

National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT): A two-member bench comprising of Justice S.J. Mukhopadhaya, Chairperson and Justice Bansi Lal Bhat, Member (Judicial) dismissed an appeal filed against the order of the National Company Law Tribunal whereby the application under Section 7 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 preferred by the Financial Creditor – Punjab National Bank was admitted.

The appellant (Corporate Debtor) submitted, firstly, that the Bank acted neither in the terms of circular and guidelines issued by the Reserve Bank of India nor in the terms of Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934. Secondly, it was contended that the amount due was barred by limitation.

The Appellate Tribunal, on considering the submissions made by the appellant, was of the view that such submissions were untenable. The first submission was rejected holding that in view of admitted default by the appellant, such ground could not be accepted. In regard to the second submission, the Appellate Tribunal held that it was liable to be rejected as there was a continuous cause of action. Furthermore, even if it was accepted that the Limitation Act was applicable in the matter, in such case Article 137 of Part II of the Act would be applicable whereunder a three years’ period counted from the date when the right to apply accrued is applicable. In the instant matter, the right to apply under Section 7 of the Code accrued to the Bank only on 1-12-2016 when the I&B Code came into force; before that the Bank had no right to apply. Therefore, the Appellate Tribunal held, no interfere was called for to the order impugned. The appeal was dismissed sans merit. [Brijesh Kumar Agarwal v. Punjab National Bank, 2018 SCC OnLine NCLAT 305, dated 05-07-2018]

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