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The National Company Law Apellate Tribunal (NCLAT) on Monday turned down Tata Steel's plea to consider its bid as the "most legitimate", while upholding two competitive bids for taking over insolvent Bhushan Power and Steel Ltd.
The appellate tribunal bench, headed by Justice S.J. Mukhopadhaya, ruled that Tata Steel's plea was "premature" and "unmaintainable". It upheld the right of the Committee of Creditors (CoC) to decide on eligibility of bids, revised or delayed, for the final resolution.
Tata Steel, the highest bidder in the first round of bidding, had moved the bankruptcy court against the revised bid of JSW Steel and the competitive bid of Liberty House UK which was submitted after the deadline. The NCLAT had reserved its judgement on December 20.
JSW Steel's revised bid of Rs 19,300 crore for Bhushan Power and Steel makes it the top suitor ahead of Rs 19,000 crore bid by Liberty House UK and Tata Steel's bid of nearly Rs 17,000 crore. The bankrupt company owes Rs 47,000 crore to the financial creditors.
The court's verdict may help JSW Steel to further cement its position as the country's largest steelmaker if its bid to take over the 3.5 million tonnes capacity factory gets through. Currently, JSW Steel's capacity is 19 million tonnes and that of Tata Steel is 18 million tonnes.
Bhushan Power and Steel was one of the 12 biggest defaulters identified by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for insolvency proceedings in June 2017. Punjab National Bank (PNB) had dragged the bankrupt steelmaker for resolution under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC).
The NCLAT had ordered the three bidders to come up with revised bids with improved offers.