Business News

The NCLT grants Future Retail’s request to grant shop access.

The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has allowed the resolution professional of Future Retail Ltd to request help from law enforcement authorities to gain access to stores that the company has been locked out of due to disputes with landlords. However, a detailed order has not yet been issued.

Ravi Kadam, the senior counsel representing the resolution professional, told the tribunal earlier that some landlords had not granted Future Retail access to a consolidated list of stores. A plea on this matter was filed before the tribunal last week.

Future Retail sought help from relevant local authorities for access and protection under Regulation 30 of Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process. “We can request the landlords to give access to such stores or ask the police to give us access to the stores,” the senior counsel said.

“There are nearly 240 such stores, so we have annexed correspondence to show how many letters have been written, but no response has been sought,” Kadam stated.

A bench led by Justice Shyam Babu Gautam, while allowing the plea, said that “Goods lying inside the storerooms pertains to the corporate debtor, which is under corporate insolvency resolution process, therefore in all interest, the resolution professional (RP) would require to protect the assets and to take over the custody of those assets hence to secure those assets the local administration/ station house officer of the concerned area as indicated are directed to render all kinds of co-operation to RP in taking over such assets. We also grant permission to the police to break open such locks on the sealed stores.”

Meanwhile, the resolution professional has filed a separate application seeking certain company documents from the bankrupt company’s former auditors. The details of the documents sought, however, could not be ascertained.

In February, the resolution professional filed an application under Section 19 (2) of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code against the Future Group promoters and statutory auditors for alleged non-cooperation. Recently, the tribunal also granted a 90-day extension to the retail firm for completing the corporate insolvency resolution process of the company. On 13 April, NCLT granted the exclusion till 15 July, the company informed the exchanges.

Until last year, Future Group had nearly 800 stores. Reliance Industries overnight took over the possession of many of the leased stores of the company when it acquired lease rights from the landlords. In April 2022, the Reliance–Future Group’s ₹24,713 crore asset sale deal collapsed after the former called off the deal, citing that the agreement “cannot be implemented” as secured creditors voted against the deal.



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