The Mumbai bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has also appointed chartered accountant Rajendra Karanmal Bhuta as interim resolution professional (IRP) to oversee the company’s day-to-day affairs and revival plans.
Punjab National Bank (International) Ltd had on March 16 last year approached the tribunal seeking initiation of the corporate insolvency resolution process (CIRP) against Topsgrup after its UK-based subsidiary The Shield Guarding Company allegedly defaulted on dues of over Rs 136 crore.
“The bench notes that this petition has been filed for a total outstanding debt of GBP 13.63 million, which translates to about Rs 136 crore, which is due and payable by the corporate debtor to the financial creditor as of January 28, 2020,” an NCLT division bench comprising judicial member Suchitra Kanuparthi and technical member Chandra Bhan Singh said in an order issued on Friday.
ET has seen a copy of the order.
As per the case, Shield Guarding Company had borrowed from
International at various occasions between 2012 and 2015. Subsequently, the company defaulted on its dues in September 2015 and later it was declared a non-performing asset in November 2015.
Topsgrup Services had provided an unconditional and irrevocable continuing guarantee in favour of the bank at the time of raising debt from the bank.
The bank in its petition had mentioned that the corporate debtor was originally incorporated as Tops Security Ltd, which was changed to Topsgrup Services Limited in March 2017, again to Topsgrup Services (India) Limited in May 2018, and finally to Topsgrup Services and Solutions Ltd in January 2020.
The NCLT order observed that, “Sandeep Ladda, counsel for the corporate debtor (Topsgrup) was present, but mentioned that the corporate debtors are in jail and he does not have any instructions from them, nor any reply has been filed.”
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is currently investigating an alleged money laundering scam of about Rs 175 crore against Topsgrup Services promoter Rahul Nanda and some others.
As per the case, the security provider group had won a contract with MMRDA (Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority) to provide security. The investigation agency has alleged that the company had provided only 70% of the total security guards mentioned in the contract but billed 100% guards to MMRDA.
Nishit Dhruva, managing partner of law firm MDP & Partners, who had represented PNB in the case along with Rohan Agrawal and Almira Lasrado, confirmed the development.
An email query to Topsgrup remained unanswered as of press time Monday.