Mahindra Bolero acquisition lands Independent TV into Moratorium

Defunct Direct to Home (DTH) operator Independent TV was earlier this year put under moratorium by National Company Law Tribunal after Nobel Co-operative Bank Limited moved NCLT against Independent TV under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code to initiate Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP). While multiple entities had on different occasions moved NCLT for insolvency of Independent TV, Nobel Co-operative has managed to get the process kick started.

Mahindra Bolero acquisition lands Independent TV into Moratorium

Nobel Co-operative Bank had claimed a default of Rs 62,73,407 with 10% simple interest per annum and 2.5% per month penal interest along with legal and incidental charges. Nobel had submitted that it had made a term loan facility of Rs 63 lakh available to Independent TV for financing 8 vehicles in its name. This was to be repaid in 60 installments of Rs 1,33,856.

The loan agreement was secured through Hypothecation Agreement in the name of Nobel Co-operative with Independent TV executing a Deed of Guarantee for the same. Nobel financed 8 Mahindra Bolero vehicles to Independent TV of total value of Rs 70,54,912 with the bank disbursing Rs 63 lakh. Independent TV first defaulted on 10th June 2019, after which it kept on defaulting. The company has later declared as a NPA by Nobel on 10th August, 2019 after no response came to multiple communiques.

Independent TV however in its reply had stated that the averments put forth by Nobel were fabricated with malicious intent. It further stated that the application was a conspiracy hatched by ex- Director Sanjay Bhati and CEO of Nobel Co-Operative V K Sharma. It said that it had not availed loan nor the vehicles as the 8 Boleros were never deployed by the now defunct DTH operator.

The tribunal however noted that records showed that Nobel had granted vehicle loan to Independent TV with the vehicles being duly purchased. The tribunal noted that the DTH operator’s plea to initiate fraudulent proceedings against Nobel were just a diversionary tactic. Given the default was over Rs 1 lakh, the tribunal ordered initiation of corporate insolvency resolution process with Independent TV being put in moratorium.

The NCLT sent Independent TV under Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process weeks before the pandemic hit India. Indiacast Media few weeks later put a stop on its petition against Independent TV in TDSAT for recover due to moratorium process. The status of the corporate insolvency resolution process is unknown with the same likely delayed due to the pandemic.

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